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Feb 28 2006

Do It Till You’re Satisfied


Perhaps these squash enchiladas at the East Side Café, Austin, will soften the blow

In defense of the tawdry and divisive BDSM threads

Please, no more BSDM conversations on this site! It just leads to a lot of us who are natural patriarchy-blaming allies getting upset with each other, and that helps no-one except the patriarchy. [*]

I’m probably gonna regret this, but I have to take one last stab at—I know! I’m sorry!—BDSM before imposing a necessary moratorium. Because, like everything else that aims to reduce women to fuckbot status, such as the previously-discussed plural marriage dealio, or South Dakota’s recent hostile takeover of its population’s uteruses, BDSM is a feminist issue, and the fact that some feminists are also pro-BDSM is a dumb reason not to blame the patriarchy for it. Actually, that BDSM has emerged as divisive among “patriarchy-blaming allies” interests me strangely.

I mean, am I a spinster aunt or aren’t I? The code demands that I not shirk my duty. It has not escaped my notice that it upsets some women when I say their beloved stiletto heels are tools of the patriarchy, or when I say the nuclear family is a tool of the patriarchy, or when I say that pole-dancing is a tool of the patriarchy, so I don’t expect they’ll like it when I out their spanky-spanky sex life as a tool of the patriarchy, either.

As repulsed as I am by the fetishization of patriarchy, and despite the sad fact that I am up for a Koufax Award for “Best New Inadvertent BDSM Blog By A Texan Spinster Aunt,” and as often as I have to cover my ears and go “muamauamuamaua” when people start describing their dorky sex lives, I’m convinced that these discussions actually serve the interests of patriarchy-blaming. True, we don’t need to have them every week, if only because of the alternating spasms of boredom and disgust that afflict me personally whenever the subject comes up. Which is why I was this close to not posting that Taken In Hand thing (whether it’s BDSM or something even more fucked up, I leave to those with stronger stomachs to decide): on accounta the boredom and disgust alone.

But, like it or lump it, BDSM is patriarchy, the whole patriarchy, and nothin’ but the patriarchy, in a black latex nutshell. It is, I unwaveringly assert according to the Honor Code of the Blaming Spinsters, the eroticization of a vastly horrific social order that has, over the millennia, generated the suffering of untold millions, and against which I am sworn to vituperate. BDSM’s got it all: sex, power, rape, pain, dominance, submission, the false pretext of freedom, delusions of superiority, sublimation of the orgasm at all costs, women who think it liberates them, a conservative orthodoxy, compulsory conformity, absurd, exaggerated gender roles, and a silly dress code. It is profoundly anti-feminist, anti-intellectual, anti-individual, and unattractive.

Do it, do it, do it till you’re satisfied, whatever it is. Just don’t kid yourself. You’re gettin’ off on patriarchy. Which is not to say that patriarchy-blamers can’t be all “yay, BDSM!” Because if pain and humiliation get you off, what better way to achieve it than by hanging a sign on your ass reading “I blamed the patriarchy but all I got was his stupid orgasm.”

And now, I’m satisfied; you may all strew rose petals in my path and get over the dry heaves, for the subject is closed until further notice.

197 comments

3 pings

  1. hedonistic

    “Do it, do it, do it till you’re satisfied, whatever it is. Just don’t kid yourself. You’re gettin’ off on patriarchy. Which is not to say that patriarchy-blamers can’t be all “yay, BDSM!” Because if pain and humiliation get you off, what better way to achieve it than by hanging a sign on your ass reading “I blamed the patriarchy but all I got was his stupid orgasm.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!! You just made my day!

    Not “this” stupid orgasm, but HIS stupid orgasm. If that was a typo, all I can say is that it was glorious!

  2. Twisty

    No typo. I’m against typos, too.

  3. will

    Wow. Excellent post.

    I will confess to expecting that the post was going to end with Twisty saying “I do like to administer a good spanking every now and again.”

    But, you hit it dead on. BDSM is all about power.

  4. Crys T

    Damn, Twisty. Just……damn….

  5. Carol

    Damn, that’s a fine-looking enchilada.

  6. Famous Soviet Athlete

    But, like it or lump it, BDSM is patriarchy, the whole patriarchy, and nothin’ but the patriarchy, in a black latex nutshell.

    I initially read nutshell as nutsack.

  7. Famous Soviet Athlete

    That was a true confession, by the way.

  8. MzNicky

    “the subject is closed until further notice.”

    Seriously? You promise, Twisty? So, it’s ok to delurk again?

  9. wtf

    Um, yeah, Twisty. No women ever have orgasms when BDSM is involved.

  10. ehj2

    the soft sound of fresh and fragrant rose petals being dropped on your path … like the endless music of pure white snow falling through an empty sky onto a silent meadow under a full poignant moon …

    /ehj2

  11. AndiF

    Damn Twisty, you are so good I can have orgasm just by reading your posts.

  12. AyMayZed

    And now, I’m satisfied; you may all strew rose petals in my path and get over the dry heaves, for the subject is closed until further notice.

    Hoo bloody ray.
    And pancakes for Mardi Gras is bloody good too.
    At least that’s what the snap looks like to me.

  13. Jodie

    That does it. I am going to have to find a way to Austin. Those squash enchiladas are calling my name.

  14. Jodie

    Oh, and I blame the patriarchy because I can’t get squash enchiladas here.

  15. louiseculmer

    What about men who like being dominated, spanked, tied up or whatever by women? Are these men also tools of the patriarchy?

  16. Rhus

    Twisty, thank you for a fantastic summary — so hilarious too. I’ve enjoyed this post immensely. BDSM sounds totally bizarre to me because it’s nowhere near what I look for in bed, so I’ve learnt a bit from this exchange. Ah, so fun and informative, the Twisty way of blaming! (By the way, not that I feel snug at all right now — for instance, I wear high heels and suspect that the spinster aunt’s axe will probably fall again near shoes quite soon.)

  17. liz

    I’m going to comment on Loiuse’s comment and say that men who like being beat upon are sort of like the CEO-white-guy in the phone commercial. “But Sir, you *are* The Man.”

    Go Twisty!

  18. antiprincess

    louise – what part of “the subject is closed” did you fail to understand?

    even I know when to say when.

  19. Cass

    I agree with all of this, Twisty, including the part about BDSM being dorky. At the same time I have a hard time getting worked up about it; I’d just be happy if more people were less forthcoming about their private perversions.

  20. Char

    That was great.

    BDSM: You get all the sexual freedom patriarchy will allow you. The question is, is that equality? And who is satisified with sex instead of freedom? As Ti-Grace Atkinson might require us to ask.

    “But I do not know any feminist worthy of that name who, if forced to choose between freedom and sex, would choose sex. She’d choose freedom every time.”

  21. Finn

    Ok, so even my slow-to-grasp-things brain managed to understand how BDSM is a fetishization of Patriarchy.

    But, what I’ve been grappling with lately, and maybe you can address it if you feel like a brain teaser, is this:

    Given the seeming biological inherancy of heterosexual sex among humans, and…

    Given the invasive nature of that act…

    Is Patriarchy inherant in the species?

  22. CafeSiren

    Gimme that enchilada!

  23. Cass

    Finn: Patriarchy is “inherent” the way other social and individual kinds of neurosis are inherent. In other words, however universal it may seem (and however much despair that causes us), its a way of functioning that’s transcended in healthier human beings.

  24. meret

    I’m going to miss your terrific blaming in regards to BDSM.

    I’ll guess I’ll just have to save this for reference.

    It annoys me that the BDSMers are so great at intimidating people from challenging them.

    Meanwhile – I have found all sorts of great radical feminist sites that are taking such things on like:

    http://bitingbeaver.blogspot.com/2006/02/rape-as-control.html

    http://www.hustlingtheleft.com/

    If you know of other radical feminist sites taking on BDSM esp. please post. Thanks.

  25. Cass

    And… consensual sex isn’t any more “invasive” than a guest you entertain in your living room.

  26. will

    Cass:

    But, just like grandma, make sure you wrap up that couch in plastic before anyone sits on it!

  27. Maureen

    I’m almost toying with writing a story about a successful executive who shows up at a woman’s house expecting to be “dominated” by a corset-wearing, whip-wielding sexpot “mistress”–and then finds that the domina (“You do NOT call me Mistress”) has different methods.

  28. Amy's Brain Today

    Thanks Twisty! You rock!

  29. ae

    Damnit, I can’t quit you, Twisty!

  30. jezebella

    Thanks for the BDSM kibosh, sister spinster!

    I just don’t want to know about the kinky personal sexual details of total strangers, because, ick.

    Onward: I look forward to more conversation about tater tots and squash enchiladas. How I love the East Side Cafe. Don’t they have those gingerbread pancakes? (“prozac on a plate”? I know I’ve had ‘em at the Omelettry) How come no one outside of Austin has developed the gingerbread pancake recipe? And does anyone have that recipe? Because I’d love to make some my own self.

  31. hedonistic

    I said it in another thread and I’ll say it here: It doesn’t matter who is tied up, or who is the “master” or the “mistress.” Whatever role a man might like to play in this drama, he is still worshipping at the alter of his own dick. And any woman who plays this game (in whatever role, in whatever outfit or with whatever props),if she is doing it in service to a man’s sexual satisfaction (or playing a “power” position in a lesbian encounter) she NOT “liberated;” rather, she is also worshipping at the Altar of the Dick, just in a more stylized fashion than the vanillas, while wearing a sillier costume.

    This doesn’t mean BDSM practitioners (gay, straight, whatever) can’t still call themselves feminists. It’s as simple as Twisty stated: Just don’t kid yourselves!

    I’m convinced that Priapism is the true World Religion.

  32. Katherine

    I think that the only reason we see heterosexual sex as invasive, and male=active, female=passive is because of the patriarchy. There are many perspectives to see it from. The female could be enveloping, devouring, or surrounding the male–any number of active verbs. In fact, I think I’ve heard that the idea of the devouring vagina is a scary thing in many cultures, probably because it upsets the patriarchy’s paradigm. I also think the rather silly euphemisms “joining together” or “becoming one” are more equal ways of referring to the sex act. Maybe we should brainstorm some better ones.

  33. Txfeminist

    Pardon my ignorance here. But why is a nuclear family a tool of the patriarchy?

    I agree that any attempt to hold it up as the Golden Standard, and that the resulting condemnation of other family structures is abhorrent. Evidence today’s anti-
    gay-marriage-campaign.

    But I don’t see why the nuclear family in and of itself must be a patriarchal tool.

    I am married and am also a feminist. My husband is also a feminist. We are raising children.

    So how is it that we are “tools of the patriarchy”? :-\

  34. June

    Not that I’m easily distracted, but those enchiladas are gorgeous. If you are ever in San Antonio, we have what I believe must be a similar veggie enchilada at Mario’s. In the meantime, I’m going to have to head up to Austin to investigate the East Side Café. That’s a cream sauce on top, right? Yummy.

    Great post, too, by the way. ;)

    ps – I guess I haven’t commented in a while, or else was just espcially oblivious the last time I posted, but the “blame” button feature is a nice touch.

  35. Cass

    Jezebella: Kerbey Lane has the gingerbread pancakes. They’re a bit heavy for my taste, but you can order the mix here: http://www.kerbeylanecafe.com/store.htm

  36. antiprincess

    ok , since nobody else is shutting up I may as well take my at-bat now.

    hedonistic – I respectfully disagree. IF female submission is at the root of all patriarchy, then saying “I am a BDSM feminist” is like saying “I am a communist stockbroker.” sure, we all try our best to get through each day under the Big Thumb and make our deals and do what we gotta do. but how many get-out-of-ideology-free cards does one get before s/he loses feminist cred?

    it’s not like forgetting to recycle once in a while or buying non-organic vegetables or wearing high heels every now and then. I still think that no matter how feminist I think I am, owning my kink is like multiplying all my feminism by zero.

  37. doggerelblogger

    Okay, since it’s about to be banished as a topic, can I just ask this one question: if BDSM is all about the patriarchy, nothing but… etc., how do you explain men who enjoy being submissive? What’s that, and who’s to blame?

  38. Crys T

    WAURRGGHHH!! What IS it with you people who come here and say, “Well, what about MEN who are subs?” as if you honestly believe this is the first time anyone has ever mentioned this to us, and that we’re so damn dumb it’s never occurred to us.

    Go back and look at old threads the topic has cropped up in. I’m sure someone came smugly in, exactly the same way you’re doing now, and got an answer.

    And, y’know, a goodly number of the anti-BDSM people writing here have actually had real-life experience with BDSM practices & communities, so your assuming that we don’t have a clue what we’re talking about is completely unfounded.

  39. hedonistic

    Antiprincess, I don’t think there’s an easy answer to who gets to claim rights to the Feminist title and who doesn’t. Some hardcore feminists might claim my collection of 200 pair of (comfortable, thank you) stilletos makes me a bad feminist, or not a feminist at all. I KNOW my shoe fetish plays into the hands of the Patriarchy, and the hardcores can opine about that all they want, but I still wear the shoes sometimes, and I STILL call myself a feminist!

    Feminism exists WITHIN the suffocating confines of Patriarchy. We don’t get to opt out of Patriarchy; feminists just get to call it on it’s shit, and adjust our lives to succeed and find happiness in spite of it, and perhaps, in rare cases, even transcend it.

  40. magikmama

    Txfeminist-

    The nuclear family is a tool of the patriarchy because it isolates women, especially those who stay at home with children, and creates a system in which one person is largely responsible for all the domestic work of a family unit.

    Granted, it doesn’t mean that all nuclear families are oppressive, and certainly, it also doesn’t mean that extended families are never oppressive, but by and large, the nuclear family as a normative concept is a tool of the patriarchy.

  41. hedonistic

    Doggerel, did you miss the “worshipping at the altar of the dick” comment above?

  42. BitingBeaver

    Yay Twisty! You’ve done it yet again and with that, I will slink back to The Den and silently digest your final word on BDSM.

    Kudos Twisty for saying it in a shorter space than I ever could have (I’m really bad for the rambling thing).

  43. Finn

    “I think that the only reason we see heterosexual sex as invasive, and male=active, female=passive is because of the patriarchy. There are many perspectives to see it from.”

    I’m trying to look at it as objectively as is possible for a white male… ;-)

    And I can’t seem to get past the idea that the assault of the egg by the sperm doesn’t seem at all incongruous with the physical activity it took to get it there in the first place. The active vs. passive roles are not necessarily defined solely in terms of social heirarchy. I’m suggesting those social heirarchies are an extension of our biology. And, I know that may have been refuted here before, so excuse me if I’m missing something.

    I don’t blame it on patriarchy, though there is much to blame patriarchy for (the military industrial complex, for example). I blame it on biology, though I know that’s probably not a popular perspective, here. It’s not a social construct that causes millions of sperm to swim toward a single egg. Is there any proof that the rest of the male biology is any less inherantly on-the-attack than the sperm? Is there any proof that the rest of the female biology is any less inherantly on-the-defense than the egg?

  44. Cass

    I know next to nothing on sperms and eggs, though I do recall hearing something about the egg going about selecting which little sperm she liked best (and eliminating his competitors). In any case, this is not exactly sound reasoning: its a bit like the medieval doctors who imagined a particular herb must be an aphrodisiac, just because its shaped like a sex organ. Rather than assuming the human mind has an analogy for every bodily process, why don’t you just ask: are rape and domestic violence found in healthy, or frustrated and diseased male psyches? And And the answer to that one is pretty clear…

  45. jezebella

    Cass, I heart you!! Thanks for the kerbey lane linky. I have been missing gingerbread pancakes for so very, very long. They *are* heavy, it’s true, but once in a while a belly-full of gingerbread pancakes is just what the doctor ordered.

    Happy Mardi Gras, y’all.

    Personally, I believe I will be giving up red meat, heroin, and wine coolers for Lent. Too bad I can’t give up the patriarchy without leaving the damn planet.

  46. Txfeminist

    Thanks, Magikmama. I appreciate the explanation.

    Sounds like the Cleavers, Ozzie & Harriet, etc.

    In spite of our at-a-glance “nuclear molecular structure” -dad, mom, chilluns- our family doesn’t fit the patriarchal tool mold at all. But I can see how the above would.

  47. Cass

    Looking back over my post, I now realize the plural of “sperm” is sperm, not sperms. Sorry…

  48. curiousgyrl

    I agree with Cass, an anthropromorphic understanding of the mamallian fertilization process as ATTACK of the SPERM! reveals nothing. But even such a scenario reflected some sort of objective model, I fail tos ee why the whole man must act in mold of his tiny, single-celled avatars, and likewise attack. It reminds me of pre-Gallilean models of the universe as a series of nested balls like russian dolls.

  49. Finn

    “But even such a scenario reflected some sort of objective model, I fail tos ee why the whole man must act in mold of his tiny, single-celled avatars, and likewise attack.”

    I’m not sayin he ‘must act’. We act against our biological inherancies all day long.

    But, if it turns out that patriarchy is biologically inherant in humans, it’s a starting point (in my admittedly feeble mind, at least) toward a longer line of reasoning.

  50. Reb

    Let’s not start idealizing non-nuclear family structures. Whether you look at family structure through lenses of history, of culture/ethnicity, or of class, you find wondrously various and excruciatingly patriarchal norms and ideals. I’m not trying to reflexively blame anyone here, but Western middle-class feminists are all too ready to embrace the attractive features of [insert exotic culture here]‘s social structure vis-a-vis marriage, partnership, childrearing, elder-care, etc., while ignoring its patriarchal foundations and oppressive aspects.

    I say this as a researcher in the specific field of sociological family studies.

    So while I agree that the economically segregative nuclear family is (often) a tool of the patriarchy, it also is a recently-invented (20th century) “ideal” and a sphere of unusual freedom in, for example, childrearing. No other system in history has allowed parents total responsibility and license to educate children in the parents’ particular values, and to protect children from perceivedly unattractive, even mainstream, societal values. You have to have it both ways: wacko fundamentalists who keep their children ignorant, yes, but also queer/feminist/anticapitalist families who are able keep their children safe from the corrupting influence of violent video games, Republicans, and refined sugar.

    I don’t mean to be snarky but just to point out that the nuclear family is a tool-and only a tool. Most normative concepts of personhood and social organization are indeed patriarchy-tools, but the family is one that’s always up at the top of the list as if there’s some great alternative out there that we’re conspicuously ignoring. Personally I think that the nuclear family is like democracy–the worst system out there, except for all the other ones that have ever been imagined. (with credit to that great Patriarch, Churchill.)

  51. Crys T

    If patriarchy were “biolgically inherent,” why have there been numerous matriarchal societies?

    Also, if we’re hardwired to it, why have so many of us been resisting so strenuously since, oh, when it was first invented? Despite what many men want to believe, women with feminist principles/beliefs are nowhere near being a minority of women, even if women who openly embrace the term “feminist” are.

  52. Erin

    Dear Twisty,

    Please tell us some more about those enchiladas up there. I had two impacted wisdom teeth removed this afternoon (any typos should be blamed on lingering anaesthesia), and it’s going to be a few days at least before I get to eat something like that, but damn they look good. I’m stocked up on soup (sweet potato and black bean), and assorted other mushy stuff, but now I want enchiladas and tacos. I blame the patriarcy for the swelling and the blood soaked gauze, and well, all of it. Especially the fact that my significant other hasn’t returned from the pharmacy with the Vicodin yet, and the first round of painkillers is starting to wear off. Ouch!

  53. Sylvanite

    I also would like to thank Cass for the Kerbey Lane link. I love those gingerbread pancakes! My friend thinks I’m visiting him when I go to Austin, but it’s really all about the gingerbread pancakes.

  54. hedonistic

    (looking around wildly!) Where? Where?!?!!! Where are the matriarchal societes, Chrys T?

    From what I’ve been able to surmise, the occasional societal hiccup results in the occasional matriFOCAL society (the ancient Celts come to mind), but none of them them were truly matriarchal.

  55. hedonistic

    apologies for the lack of parallell structure in that badly written post!

  56. tisha

    and the bad spelling! LOL

  57. eponymous

    Great post, Twisty. I completely agree that the origins of BDSM are the fetishization of the inequitable power structures inherent in the patriarchy.

    However, does the fact that the Patriarchy creates the fetishization of power in BDSM necessarily make it a tool of said patriarchy? I mean, does that mean that because Jazz originated out of segregation, slavery and Jim Crow laws in the early 20th century South that Jazz perpetuates these things today?

    Basically, just because two people grew up within the patriarchy and had their sexuality molded by it, does it mean that they are perpetuating the patriarchy while getting each other off in freaky ways?

  58. Chris Clarke

    I read this post and thought “Twisty’s dealing with BDSM again? She must be a glutton for punishment.”

    And then I thought “wait a minute.”

    And then my brain flew up its own asshole.

  59. jami

    it seems like men are objects in dorky bdsm, too. it’s like saying touch football is a tool of the patriarchy when really, it’s equal-opportunity dorky.

    but then, what do i know about touch football?

  60. sterna

    Apropos the ‘attack of the sperm on the egg’, there’s a wonderful article examining how gender roles and sexism have distorted the way we think about this moment in human reproduction. I do not know if it exists on-line, but here is the citation:

    Martin, Emily. “The Egg and the Sperm.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Vol. 16, no. 3. The University of Chicago, 1991. 485-501.

    Martin shows that textbooks routinely depict the sperm as an energetic, knight-on-white-horse like suitor, thrashing his brave way to the passive, maiden-in-tower egg. The actual science, however, reveals something different. The egg has a very active role in determining which sperm cell is allowed though the cell. When the egg latches on to the chosen sperm and hauls it inside, it does so with a molecule that locks onto a matching molecule on the surface of the sperm. The egg’s half of the lock-and-key is actually the half with the sticky-out bit, what you’d call “male” if you were talking about electrical cords, while the sperm’s half is concave. Got it? Nonetheless, the egg’s half had been named the ‘lock’ and the sperm’s half the ‘key.’ Priceless.

    It’s a very recommendable article. Read it if you can get ahold of it.

  61. Luckynkl

    TXfeminist:
    Pardon my ignorance here. But why is a nuclear family a tool of the patriarchy?

    Because marriage and the nuclear family was created by men for the benefit of men. It is the means by which men obtain legal ownership of women and children and a way in which rape and the breeding of women like animals is legalized and fully sanctioned by the church and state. The word “husband” literally means, “Keeper of livestock.” Guess who’s the livestock?

    The word “wedd” comes from the Anglo-Saxons. Tho purchasing a wife was the preferrable method Anglo-Saxons used to obtain a wife, it was not uncommon for them to raid villages and capture and carry off their “brides” with the aid of their “Best Man,” who was usually their best friend. We call it kidnapping today, but back then it was called “rape.” Rape literally means “to seize and take away by force.” The groom then took his “bride” and went into hiding while he tried to extort a ransom from her family. Which was called a “dowry.” By the time the family was able to track them both down, the “bride” would often have already been impregnated. They called this period, “The Honeymoon.” According to the History Channel, the weddomg ring symbolized the tether the groom used to tie around his bride’s waist and bolted to the floor to prevent her from running away. She was forbidden from ever seeing her family again. But at some point in time, many grooms decided that their captured brides could visit their mothers once a year. Wasn’t that white of them? That day became known as “Mother’s Day.” Needless to say, Father’s Day has no meaning, other than to say, “Congratulations, men. Your raping dick works.”

    Only the patriarchy could make kidnapping, rape, the selling and breeding of women like cows, and the extortion of their families, sound romantic and sacred and something for women to strive for. Gotta hand it to these boys. They really know how to market their bullshit.

    Any more questions why marriage and the nuclear family is a tool of the patriarchy? If you have any doubts, just step inside a courtroom. In many courtrooms across the land, you’d find out real quick that the law, which is based on Old English law, and society’s attitude towards women hasn’t changed a whole heck of a lot since the Dark Ages. And if Bushie and his praise Jesus boys have their way, they’ll turn the clocks back 2,000 years on women so that when your husband doesn’t feel like being generous or charitable towards you any more, he will be entitled to trade you in for 4 pigs and a cow. Or if he’s more modern, perhaps for one of those trucks with balls.

  62. Sara

    How is it that anyone can think of BDSM looking at those enchiladas! I WANT THOSE ENCHILADAS. (What kind(s) of squash? How are they sauced?) Oh, how I long for such foods!

    I would not do just anything to get them, however. I would not, for example, put on a corset or high heels, and this is not just because I don’t have one of these –

    http://www.dorset-ortho.co.uk/index.php?page=1000051&PHPSESSID=9a1cb3a2328f63cc1d39e7a036c32550

    – the very existence of which I blame on the patriarchy, naturally. And even if there were a prayer in hell that owning such a thing would get me those enchiladas, somehow I just cannot muster interest in this product even though, minus a hundred pounds (how many enchiladas is that?), it could make me look like this: http://www.heathermillsmccartney.com/limbs.php (And no, I am not dissing Ms. McC. Yet sadly, I do know that high heels and her devotion to helping even amputated girls wear them have helped her into her current position of celebrity which all by itself allows her to accomplish many higher ends.)

    I also want the recipe for gingerbread pancakes. Squash enchiladas…okay. Truly southwestern. Sure. But I freakin’ live in New England. I should be able to get freakin’ gingerbread pancakes.

    I wish I could blame the patriarchy for the fact that I can’t. Oh, what the heck. I will blame it. I do. Now if only I could get my rage out by spanking it with a big ol’ Barbie leg.

  63. Amber

    The word “husband” literally means, “Keeper of livestock.”

    No, it doesn’t. It means, “one who dwells in the house.” The etymology of the word is Old English hus (house) Old English buan (to dwell).

    You are free hold whatever absurd, absolutist beliefs about marriage, families, etc. that you want (and sound an awful lot like the religious wingnuts a la Pat Robertson), but please do not invoke linguistics as a defense for your position (especially when it’s incorrect). Etymology is not sociopolitical, sorry.

  64. LCGillies

    Twisty, I bow before your cogent and irresistable forensic skills. You Are Right. I withdraw my past supportive-of-individual-BSDM-sexual-experiences comments, about which I’m personally ignorant as to the experience, and—as I now averr—rhetorically stuck with my nose in my omphalos, if not elsewhere. Such is the polymorphous perversity of the patriarchy that one’s admittedly personal predilections may be predicates of patriarchal domination nevertheless…

  65. Finn

    “If patriarchy were “biolgically inherent,” why have there been numerous matriarchal societies?”

    Never heard of any.

    “Also, if we’re hardwired to it, why have so many of us been resisting so strenuously since, oh, when it was first invented?”

    Human beings resist all kinds of biological inherancies… I’m not saying it’s hardwired. It’s more like a predisposition. I was born with an outie that likes innies. I have a hard time believing that the social conditioning came first when I was born with these parts. Sure, I could make a self-determination that I don’t like these parts and want to make a trade, but the scales are still tipped toward heterosexuality remaining the predominant biological predisposition, wouldn’t you say?

    If that biological dominance continues, I don’t see an end to Patriarchy.

    If I’m wrong about that biological inherancy, then there may be a chance.

  66. Lorenzo

    Finn,

    I’m trying to look at it as objectively as is possible for a white male… ;-)

    And I can’t seem to get past the idea that the assault of the egg by the sperm doesn’t seem at all incongruous with the physical activity it took to get it there in the first place. The active vs. passive roles are not necessarily defined solely in terms of social heirarchy. I’m suggesting those social heirarchies are an extension of our biology. And, I know that may have been refuted here before, so excuse me if I’m missing something.

    I don’t blame it on patriarchy, though there is much to blame patriarchy for (the military industrial complex, for example). I blame it on biology, though I know that’s probably not a popular perspective, here. It’s not a social construct that causes millions of sperm to swim toward a single egg. Is there any proof that the rest of the male biology is any less inherantly on-the-attack than the sperm? Is there any proof that the rest of the female biology is any less inherantly on-the-defense than the egg?

    Here is the thing that you are missing. We’ve had this set of socially constructed meanings attached to sex and reproduction for a very long time. We’ve had these meanings of active/passive, the eroticization of dominance, pregnancy as life created by man and imposed on woman, etc. for thousands of years. They are so deeply embeded that it is virtually impossible for us to conceptualize sex and reproduction outside of these cultural assumptions and values. Its the easiest thing in the world for people, and especially men, to slip into assuming they must be natural. That, however, doesn’t actually make it so. As other commenters point out, the ‘sperm-attacking-the-egg’ concept isn’t even biologically accurate. The notion of pregnancy begining at fertilization still persists despite being demonstrably false. Notions of male as farmer sowing his ‘seed’ into the ‘fertile’ soil of the woman persist despite being demonstrably false. What marks these beliefs as socially constructed as that they persist regardless of the evidence.

  67. SneakySnu

    I’ve decided I’m going to write a new dissertation on the use of chiaroscuro in Twisty’s visual representations of food.

    I’m sure looking forward to the next non-BDSM post!

    Sterna–thanks for citing the article in Signs. I’m going to have to take a look at it.

  68. viveth

    I was once married (bad idea) and then divorced (good idea). On the day the divorce was finalized, I had to appear in court. In order for the judge to grant me my divorce, I had to raise my hand and declare whether or not I was currently pregnant or thought I might be pregnant.

    There I was, having to navigate a patriarchy-designed divorce proceeding, staring at a judge waving his patriarchal gavel, knowing he has the ability to grant or deny my bid for freedom from that “institution” they are so desperate to protect, and right there in the courtroom, in front of hundreds of other people, they can force me to essentially let them all have a look inside my uterus.

    My head nearly exploded. There were a thousand things I wanted to say, most of which would have landed me in jail. To be free, I had to tell them exactly what was going on in my reproductive system.

    Yes, the nuclear family is a tool of the patriarchy. Right down to the bitter end.

  69. Finn

    “To be free, I had to tell them exactly what was going on in my reproductive system.”

    I’m sure it was a harrowing experience and i don’t mean to make light of it by making the point that the reproductive system questions are necessary in order to assure that a clean break has been made and that you’re not going to ask for child support for a child conceived within the marriage. True?

  70. Burrow

    And Twisty nails it again. Rose petals being strew as I type. Beautifully perfect.

  71. magikmama

    I want to clarify that my statement that the nuclear family is a patriarchal tool is not to invalidate the toolness of other forms of families.

    To wit: The extended patriarchal authoritarian family (think biblical and traditional chinese) is possibly even more of a tool. Instead of being isolated, in this lovely evolution, the women themselves constantly repress each other in order to get what crumbs of power they can. Thanks to the complete lack of privacy, not even the tiniest amount of deviance can escape attention.

    Another lovely family form, the polygynist or harem, seems to give a break. Heh, the women are free of the men altogether for much of the time. But turning women into a luxury item available for only the wealthy (i mean, there’s only SO MANY women vs men) certainly isn’t going to make the poor men any more fond of all the women they can’t have. And since they can’t take it out on the real perpetrators, the rich men, without huge consequences, guess who gets beat up/raped/acid thrown on them/etc?

    The truth is, having any family type or system be a norm is in and of itself a tool of the patriarchy. In a patriarchy-free world, people would set up their families as they see best. Don’t like any of your bio-relatives, except maybe that weird cousin who lives in DC? Then curse the lot of them and adopt some good friends as siblings. Want to marry more than one person? As long as EVERYONE is happy, kudos. Want to live in a big hippy commune? Yeah cooperative living. Want to live all by yourself in a hut in the woods with 30 cats? Whatever makes you tick.

    Norms suck.

  72. Crys T

    And why the bloody hell should heterosexuality imply patriarchy?

    And, even more bafflingly, how does heterosexuality imply “biological dominance”?? Unless you mean that numbers of heterosexuals are greater, and therefore “dominate”, I haven’t got a clue what you’re on about.

  73. LL

    There are a lot of things cited above that are just off. Mother’s Day was celebrated by the Greeks, but it was in honor of Rhea – the mother of the gods. It has a history in England as a way during Lent for houseservants to visit their mothers. The modern American version that we celebrate got its start in 1872 by Julia Ward Howe and was more of a an anti-war type day than anything else.

    The rings are a pagan symbol – ever heard of hand-fasting? Where they unite the lovers with a coil of rope/ribbon, daisies, whatever? The rings became a symbol of that. No, that’s not just a new pagan thing or something the SCA invented.

    Is marriage a bunch of patriarchial bullshit? Hell yes. Are there some really frightening traditions that led to things like the veil, the big diamond ring, and the need for attendants (security)? Yes yes yes. But we should try to get all the facts straight.

    Oh, and I blame the patriarchy for making every god-damned Mother’s Day history page some horrible, pink, butterfly-encrusted, sound-file-loading, sentimental browser-crashing piece of drek.

  74. mcmc

    well finn, I don’t want to make light of your handicap, but we can now clearly see that you are a fucking asshole. The question of child support is entirely irrelevant to the question at hand: the continuation or dissolution of the marriage.

  75. Luckynkl

    Well I guess, Amber, you’ll have to take your beef up with the patriarchs. Because along with the history of marriage, I got the definition for “husband” straight from the horse’s mouth. The lexicographers and historians. And who is in charge of naming and defining things again? Oh yeah. The patriarchs.

    But I agree with you. The patriarchs are a bunch of religious wingnuts. And Pat Robertson can be counted among them. But it’s not so cool to project what they say and what I only repeated onto me. Put the blame where it belongs. On the patriarchy.

    In the meanwhile, I hope you’re not going to sit there and try to blow smoke up my ass and pretend you don’t know that women have historically been treated as commodities and as chattel and as property and men haven’t been on a mission to domesticate and breed women like animals for milleniums? What you think the term “Animal Husbandry” means? Hmmmm? What does the word “domesticated” mean to you? And why do you think it’s so closely associated with women? Also while you’re at it, look up the word “patriarch.” Where does it come from? What does it mean?

    In the meanwhile, I’m sorry I ruined all your romantic notions about marriage. Boo fucking hoo. But I have little patience for willfull ignorance. Marriage is about ownership. The private ownership of people. Specifically, the ownership of women and children by men. Which is sanctioned by the church and state. There are no two ands, ifs or buts about it.

    Now, instead of trying to save the men, why don’t you take up a much more noble cause? Like trying to save the whales? Cuz men really don’t need your help or for you to be their mommy. They’re doing just fine as rulers. Precisely because they don’t turn on the brotherhood over any woman.

  76. Carol

    This is a non sequitur, but I blame the patriarchy for making every “congratulations on your baby girl” card include a shopping joke.

  77. LL

    In the lovely state of Texas – where I was granted a divorce in December of ’05 – it used to be the law that they would NOT grant a divorce if the woman was pregnant. Now I believe it’s up to the judge’s discretion.

    Child support is irrelevent. If the union resulted in two kids, then two kids support is the issue – it should not matter if one of those kids is in utero when the divorce happens. What matters is the judge deciding whether this woman has the right to separate herself from someone potentially abusive.

    Or, y’know what?? It doesn’t even matter if the guy is abusive. If two adults come in front of a judge and tell him that they want to dissolve a legal contract, then by Dog, they have that right, uterine visitor or no. What it amounts to is that once a woman becomes pregnant, she apparently loses all ability to live, think or decide for herself and needs a big, bad man to protect her. And that-thar is bullshit.

  78. LL

    Luckynkl – I absolutely agree that marriage has/is about ownership – I’ve just always heard totally different explanations for all the stuff you mentioned. And these are explanations from history majors/buffs/books – not JUST floweredy sites on the intarweb.

    Would you cite some references?? If you’d rather, you can mail me them – lollylb at hotmail dot com.

    I love all this anthro/socio/etymo logical stuff, and I’m honestly curious as to where you got your assertions.

    Thanks!!!

  79. Luckynkl

    Luckynkl,

    Marriage is about ownership. The private ownership of people. Specifically, the ownership of women and children by men. Which is sanctioned by the church and state. There are no two ands, ifs or buts about it.

    Well, I’m not sure ‘private’ captures it fully. I think you might agree that marriage as a social institution is merely the mechanism of making women as a class the property of men as a class and compeling them to socially reproduce for men and their purposes.

  80. LMYC

    “Also, if we’re hardwired to it, why have so many of us been
    resisting so strenuously since, oh, when it was first invented?”

    Because, while THEY might be hardwired to it, WE aren’t.

    I’m serious. Let me take my cynic’s association membership card out of my wallet here and show it to you. MEN are hardwired for dominance hierarchies and crapping on the weak. We’re not. Not that we can’t — I can name you plenty of women and girls I’ve known who are damned good at it. But to institutionalize it? I’m sorry if this is un-PC, but tough shit. If men AREN’T hardwired for it, they’re making a damned good show of faking it.

    Racism is probably also hardwired — like I said, distrust of the stranger. But I can assure you that this doesn’t mean that black people are gonna put up with it without a fight. Nor do we put up with being crapped on without a fight.

    If we WERE hardwired to tolerate abuse and hatred, we wouldn’t fight it, as you said. But this doesn’t mean they aren’t hardwired to dish it out. Even if thre are statistical stragglers who aren’t like this, I truly do believe this.

  81. QRaccoon

    I am going to take an unpopular stand here, but to some degree I agree with Finn. If there is a child involved there is more paperwork in a divorce and that paperwork has to be filled out for the divorce to be final. Child support, visitation, and all that jazz. Having to stand up and state your uterine state in front of the whole court stinks majorly, but it makes the divorce final. It sounds harsh but it is like splitting the assets of a marriage, half the house, half the car, half the kid.

  82. Catharine

    So, let me get this straight… I can keep the stilettos, I can wear the stilettos, just as long as I know and acknowledge openly that the stilettos are tools of the patriarchy.

    Hot diggity!!!

    So stipulated! Pass me the shoes, sistah!!!

    ~C~

  83. Dutchman

    I do hope this whole website is a parody, but just in case it’s not, let me ask one simple question: Why should it be a problem for you (plural, if the shoe fits…) when it turns out that some people, well-educated people, liberal-minded people even, in their own private lives, choose to adhere to what you would call a ‘patriarchal’ model, with the woman obeying the man and striving to please him, and the man leading and cherishing her in turn?

    That’s a real question, there.

  84. B

    Finn,

    Actually the egg travels to meet the sperm. And the sperm would never be able to swim all the way to the egg without the uterus helping some of them along. The whole process is a lot different from how it is portrayed in our patriarchy-influenced schoolbooks.

    My source, in case you think I’m making this up, is the reputable agency RFSU who has been dealing with education on all issues regarding sex in Sweden for over eighty years.

    One could just as well consider the female orgasm to suck the male dry, as many people feared and fantasied about at the turning of the last century (I recommend Bram Dijkstra’s books on this).

  85. dd

    Twisty – I have to say I respect that you are consistent in your patriarchy-blaming. You don’t let people try to condone stillettos or BDSM or even regular old nuclear families. I disagree with you on some of what you say but I have never felt the need to argue with you about it because your beliefs are crystal-clear and the same for every issue. They’re grounded in certain principles, and no matter how people may talk around an issue, you can always return to what’s important to you.

    People on every side of these arguments could learn quite a bit from your spine!

  86. jaye

    My shrink says that S-M is really about the submissive controling the dominent. In otherwords, the one who appears to be helpless is really in control.

    Do you think that he is confused? Is he confusing me?

    Is having a male psychologist like having a male gynecologist?

  87. jaye

    Oh yeah, on divorcing while pregnant…
    In Harris County it is the practice not to bastardize the child so it is next to impossible to get a divorce while pregnant unless the fetus is threatened by the woman’s husband…

  88. Delphyne

    “My shrink says that S-M is really about the submissive controling the dominent. In otherwords, the one who appears to be helpless is really in control.”

    That’s what he tells himself when he’s torturing his girlfriend.

  89. Liz

    #58: And then my brain flew up its own asshole.

    I say: Twisty for Benign Dictator of the Universe; Chris Clarke for Official Proctological Court Jester of the Universe. And bravo! What a relief that we’re not flogging BDSM any more.

  90. LL

    To veer wildly off subject here, I have a culinary question.

    Dear Twisty -
    You have convinced me of the wonderfulness of fennel. But I am at a loss as to what to do with the tops. Help?

    Thanks!
    LL

  91. LMYC

    LL, save fennel tops for soup stock. Heaven, I tell you.

  92. txfeminist2005

    Okay, we know that Anglo Saxon mauraders were savages. But how does that relate to my marriage? Quite simply – it doesn’t.

    The comparison is like saying, in ancient times, all houses were made with dirt floors, a fire pit in the middle and a hole in the ceiling. Therefore, conditions for the inhabitants were alternately smoky or damp, and in general, unhealthy. Therefore, no one should ever live in a house, because it is clearly unhealthy.

    If one takes a restrictive view of marriage, one might as well just agree that “marriage exists only between a man and a woman,” I don’t think that our gay and lesbian friends would get behind that.

    Marriage can surely be a contract between two individuals who decide what the terms are. As stated by Reb, it’s a tool . And as a contract between two individuals, many many variations of “marriage” thereof can occur. People partner for many, many reasons. Who are we to say what those reasons are? What the terms of their relationship are? isn’t marriage simply an outward expression of a commitment between two individuals? does every marriage encompass the white dress, the tacky garter belt, the chicken dance and all the rest? Clearly not.

    Although, I do agree, that the state has it’s ideas about marriage which are entirely different than mine and my husband’s.

    So please, people. Let’s not be reductionist.

    Please know that I have been in and out of one of the most repressive systems in the US – Texas divorce court. I am an advocate for battered women. I am in and around courts all the time and I have seen heinous things happen to women and children there. I have had loads of experience with the state’s utterly bogus ideas about women, children, pregnancy and domestic violence. So believe me, I know of what I speak.

    And yet, and yet. My husband and I have a marriage of equals. Of Equals. it is possible. Happy Feminist wrote a great post about her marriage in response to some Christians who disagreed that a marriage could be anything other than dominant/submissive. (Hm. How interesting…it all ties back in… !)

    “It doesn’t even matter if the guy is abusive. If two adults come in front of a judge and tell him that they want to dissolve a legal contract, then by Dog, they have that right.”

    Actually, it does matter, in Texas, if the guy is abusive. But the rules regarding domestic violence are determined county-by-county. In the country counties, it’s pretty bad and they dont’ much care. In the cities, they are a tad more aware. However, a demand for accountability in cases where abuse has occured can backfire on women, as horrible as that is. A woman who desperately wants a divorce and goes before a judge with an agreed order, when asked by the judge, “Has family violence occured within the marriage in the two years preceding the suit for divorce?” , if she has to answer Yes because Yes is the truth – the court can refuse to enter her petition of divorce and require a hearing on the grounds that testimony is necessary due to allegations of domestic violence. This can open up a whole can of legal, financial, and other woes for battered women – not the least of them being legally tethered to an abuser for months to come awaiting a hearing.

    I myself have used family court cases and situations as a measuring stick on many occasions to demonstrate that bias against women, ugly stereotypes that hurt women, and double standards for women’s behavior, as well as pure disregard for domestic violence and even incest are alive and well in the US.

    In other words, yes: some of the worst of patriarchy is seen in family court. You should have seen some jurors faces twist when I was testifying once, and the terms “patriarchy” and “radical feminist” came up. Whoa, mama. I think they were ready to lynch me, then and there.

    You probably wonder at this point how I can possibly retain the notion that a marriage can be a marriage of equals…! And yet, our marriage is just that, and I refuse to hear it spoken of as the inevitable tool of something ugly, hurtful and oppressive.

    Please. Let’s not confuse some historical events or the general problems of family court with the private reality of the marriage of two self-identifed feminists.

    I suppose my question, how is marriage a tool of the patriarchy, was purely rhetorical, wasn’t it? :-)

  93. alyx

    Amber: “Etymology is not sociopolitical, sorry.”

    It most certainly IS. For instance:

    The suffix “Ko” is sometimes attached to the first names of Japanese women. You can see it in men’s first names too, but it’s more common in women’s names. It means snow-white, which has connotations of purity and virginal innocence. Virginal innocence is of course a requirement for women in traditional patriarchies.

    That’s just ONE of the many millions of ways patriarchy has boxed women into neat little semantic packages. This occurs across cultures, including our own. Better brush up.

  94. sparklegirl

    Hedonist,

    It doesn’t matter who is tied up, or who is the “master” or the “mistress.” Whatever role a man might like to play in this drama, he is still worshipping at the alter of his own dick. And any woman who plays this game (in whatever role, in whatever outfit or with whatever props),if she is doing it in service to a man’s sexual satisfaction (or playing a “power” position in a lesbian encounter) she NOT “liberated;” rather, she is also worshipping at the Altar of the Dick, just in a more stylized fashion than the vanillas, while wearing a sillier costume.

    What about women who aren’t doing BDSM in service to a man’s satisfaction? I’m sure that too many are–and as you pointed out, that happens in vanilla sex as well–but I’ve read from plenty of feminist women who genuinely enjoy BDSM, whether as a sub or a dom. Why do you assume that none of them genuinely enjoy it, and that they must be doing it only to please men?

    If female submission is the problem, as Twisty said in her other post, I still don’t see how female doms and male subs are a symptom of the patriarchy. Yes, it’s a problem if the women have to dress up in uncomfortable costumes regardless of role while the men can wear whatever they want. But not all BDSMers practice it that way. If a couple wears equally comfortable clothing, and incorporates the desires of both partners into their roleplaying, what’s the problem? I genuinely don’t see how BDSM must mean “worshipping at the alter of the dick” if the woman is doing it for her own pleasure as well as that of her partner.

  95. Amanda Marcotte

    I’m not here to quarrel about sex or various patriarchal tools. But that’s just way too much cheese on that enchilada. I’m surprised–East Side is the shit. Of course, I’m fond of any place that grows their own food.

  96. trope

    In Harris County it is the practice not to bastardize the child so it is next to impossible to get a divorce while pregnant unless the fetus is threatened by the woman’s husband…
    (retches) Unless the FETUS is threatened? Wha? jaye, I’m really hoping you’re exaggerating for effect, but I’m a-feared that you may be quoting some legal precendent. If so, please send source material and address where I may begin the ranting torrent of mail. Thx.

  97. jezebella

    The whole “sperm invades the egg” scenario is clearly influenced by patriarchal ideas about male-female relationships. It’s sooo obvious. However, for an informed (and informative) lesson on how patriarchy interprets medical data in its favor (especially regarding women’s bodies), I recommend Natalie Angier’s “Woman: An Intimate Geography.” It’ll turn your world upside down, and in a good way. Plus, she provides data, science, footnotes, all good ammo in conversations such as these.

  98. jaye

    I really wasn’t trying to be sickening. Can you believe that shit?

    No, it isn’t the law, but worse, it is the judge’s discretion and that means–drumroll–don’t let that little lady give birth on her own.

    It is a male court system even if you are a female. It is a ol’ boys’ network if you are not.

    This comes from my experience clerking with a law firm while finishing law school and working on indigent cases. The judges do indeed ask if women are pregnant and they really want to know what is happening in your uterus. If you are indeed pregnant, they won’t grant you the divorce. Most attorneys will simply not finalize a divorce while a woman is pregnant so when the “embarrassing” question by the “phallic-gavel” toting, black robe wearing MAN, she doesn’t feel the need to lie. But she will be asked because so far we don’t do ultrasounds at the courthouse door. I would imagine that they would hear some motion for special circumstances, but they will give you a TRO without having to hear from the man in question. Ex parte TROs are normal. So if you fear the soon to be ex-husband–like he may kill you if you are pregnant with another man’s child–I would think that an attorney would write the temporary orders–which are usually the basis for the final decree–with a TRO attached for the court’s consideration.

    When people do show up for TRO day–women sit on one side of the courtroom, men on the other. The baliff will not allow outside folks come in. I got in because I was clerking for an attorney who had business before the court that morning. The baliff watches over the folks while they are in the courthouse, but of course, let’s not really protect women outside the courthouse. It is indeed a dangerous world out there.

    Sorry to eat up Twisty’s space, but that law thing gets me going. We should protest this sort of treatment, but it is uphill in the courts and the legislature. They are not familiar with the 21st Century.

  99. hedonistic

    Hey sparkle, I’m reading and re-reading what I wrote, trying to figure out how I led you to believe that I assumed BDSM participants do not enjoy worshipping at the Altar of the Dick? Because as a mostly-het female, I actually have a ball doing it (hey, a pun!!!) on my terms.

    Enjoying such “worship” and having an orgasm from it are two very, very different things though. Your typical dungeon dominatrix typically doesn’t get to climax, because she’s too busy managing a scene in order to serve the man’s orgasm. It’s ALL ABOUT HIM.

    Now, as to whether or not female “bottoms” get to have REAL (not noisly faked) orgasms. . . well, I guess, I wouldn’t know!

    One more thing: Notice my qualifier, that little word “if.” IF she is doing it in service to a man’s sexual satisfaction . . . IF she’s playing a “power role” . . .so, I’m sorry, sorry, sorry, but again, welcome to the Patriarchy. However, I never suggested you or anyone else couldn’t have fun playing the game.

    As Twisty says, carry on, just don’t be fooled!

  100. LL

    I’m assuming Harris County in Texas – right? I got divorced in Williamson County and the whole point was moot for me as a)the ex had been snipped and b)there wasn’t a whole lot of baby-making opportunity in the last year, if you get my drift. Even so, the question royally pissed me off when I came to it.

    The fennel tops are currently in water, in a vase on my kitchen counter because they smell SO GOOD. Of course, my whole apartment smells fabulous right now. I’m making a variation of the clams recipe, but with chicken. I’m calling it Derivative Chicken.

  101. Violet Socks

    BDSM feminists remind me of Charlie’s Angels feminists. “Just because I’m wearing a bustier and chasing criminals while wearing 4-inch stilettoes doesn’t mean I’m not a totally empowered woman!”

  102. txfeminist

    “In Harris County it is the practice not to bastardize the child so it is next to impossible to get a divorce while pregnant unless the fetus is threatened by the woman’s husband…”

    Most standing court orders state that a pregnancy which occurs within the constraints of a marriage (even one that is ending) is assumed to be of the husband’s doing. Therefore, an affidavit of paternity must be submitted on final orders if you are pregnant : to determine whether or not the potential child is the husband’s or someone elses.

    If you have no one to sign the affidavit, (ie, your soon to be ex husband swears its not his and no other suitor is forthcoming to claim it) then you do have a problem, and they can refuse to sign off on a final decree until a child is born, the birth certificate filled out, the DNA test done, etc.

    it’s less about bastardizing the child than it is to prevent Father from paying child support on a child who can be proven to be not his biologically.

    Unfortunately – women who are pregnant of a child by someone other than the husband at time of divorce trial, even if they separated years ago and things dragged on, are at high risk for losing custody of their other children. Because of course any woman who decides for herself when to have another child, or start another relationship, and doesn’t wait til the state stops fiddling around with it’s endless hearings, paperwork, and blah blah blah – is just a slut, and unfit.

    Right?

    yeah, the pregnancy clause makes me mad.

  103. Chris Clarke

    The whole “sperm invades the egg” scenario

    “A human being has a body that is inviolate; and when it is violated, it is abused. A woman has a gullet that is penetrated in taco-eating: permeable, its corporeal solidness a lie. The discourse of la verdad de la cocina calls that penetration violation. This it does with some consistency and some confidence. Violation is a synonym for taco-eating. At the same time, the penetration is taken to be a use, not an abuse; a culinary use; it is appropriate to enter her esopahgus, to push into (“violate”) the boundaries of her body. She is human, of course, but by a standard that does not include not eating tacos. She is, in fact, human by a standard that precludes not eating tacos, since to keep a taco out altogether and for a lifetime is deviant in the extreme, a psychopathology, a repudiation of the way in which she is expected to manifest her appetite.”

    – Not Andrea Dworkin

  104. LL

    Of course, it’s very easy to bring up horrifying what-if’s. “What if he finds out he’s been paying support on a kid that’s not his for YEARS!!” What if, what if, what if. I will bet you a patty melt and a beer that the original idea behind it had NOTHING to do with children not belonging to the husband, rather it was all about keeping the little woman under thumb.

  105. emjay

    We all live in the patriarchy, and we all do what we must to get by and live the happiest life we can. You can recognize that your sexuality is influenced by society without avoiding it or trying to change it. If humans were raised without gender, might I be attracted to men too and not just women? Perhaps, but I also see no need to try to find a man whom I could stand since I’m perfectly happy being a lesbian. Likewise with prefered sexual activities: you can enjoy something and recognize that less-than-ideal circumstances are what make it exciting. Then as a human with free will, you can choose whether to participate in an act that you enjoy but doesn’t come from a healthy place, or you can choose to reject it. Feminism isn’t about looking into anyone’s bedrooms to see if someone likes to be tied up or spanked or whatever. It’s about presenting everyone with the information to make choices about their lives. What each of us might do is really no one’s business other our own and our partners’, until we decide to post it online and make it out to be something liberating and pretend that we like what we do in a vacuum.

  106. Violet Socks

    Chris Clarke: one of the few taco-owners who’s hip to the Politics of the Taco.

  107. txfeminist

    “it had NOTHING to do with children not belonging to the husband, rather it was all about keeping the little woman under thumb.”

    yes, or quite possibly both. keeping her married AND pregnant: what a bargain! Now if only they could find a law to take away our shoes…..

  108. LMYC

    I was all set to reply to some nitwit’s idiot comment here, but I think I’mjust so sick of this horseshit that I’m going to bow out. There should be a sign on the Internet that says, “You must be THIS SMART to ride.”

    In general, I like opera and George Thorogood’s music, but I don’t fucking pretend that it’s feminist. I like it despite the fact that it’s not, because they both sound good. I’m not apologizing for the patriarchy, nor am I looking to wriggle out of the fact that both are steeped in it, and if I like them it’s a symptom of the fact that so am I. If you do the BDSM thing, then shut up and admit that it’s less than ideal. Stop trying to rationalize it. Fucking be honest with yourself and others. At last. AT LONG LAST. Cut the bullshit and admit it, okay?

    Chrrrrrrrrrist. Idiot crap like this is why I got off of Usenet. I got sick and fucking tired of the same horseshit coming up, the same stupid rationalizations that had been disproved and handled previously. Either STFU or familiarize yourself with the previous conversations so we don’t have to back up to rhetorical kindergarten to bring the whole thing up to speed again.

  109. Mandos

    Someone mentioned Mother’s Day and Anglo-Saxon customs. Here’s a link to wikipedia on the matter:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother's_Day

    Of course, wikipedia’s not omniscient. But a search of Google suggests that Father’s Day is extremely recent and doesn’t really have anything to do overtly with rape unless acknowledged fatherhood necessarily corresponds to rape.

    Because marriage and the nuclear family was created by men for the benefit of men. It is the means by which men obtain legal ownership of women and children and a way in which rape and the breeding of women like animals is legalized and fully sanctioned by the church and state. The word “husband” literally means, “Keeper of livestock.” Guess who’s the livestock?

    So, do you realize that this kind of demonstrates Finn’s point? Why would men want legal ownership of women AND children? Why would men want to control women’s breeding?

    We don’t need to go as far as just-so stories from sociobiology or ev-psych, at least not at this point. I asked earlier on another thread, how many women would agree to the randomization of babies in a maternity ward? Precious few, I must say, and I don’t think that’s an accident. As soon as men know that they have a direct and instigating role in reproduction, regardless of sperm/egg semantics, the desire to allocate children to men emerges immediately.

    People have speculated about matriarchy and matrifocality. There have been blips here and there, and many of them actually still have a lot of patriarchal structures. I’ve never heard of a widespread, unequivocal case. And I’ve never heard of any case at all where some attempt at allocating children to men hasn’t occurred. And even under the most gentle, least patriarchal system, it means some tracking of women’s genitalia is going to happen. Which means some basic elements of patriarchy are immediately laid down. The solutions are either mandatory paternity testing after birth, so that women’s genitalia are not at issue—but this can only be accomplished in modern technological society—or getting men to collectively and uniformly agree to relinquish paternity claims…and getting their children to relinquish any interest in part of their biological heritage. (Ask adoptees and certain sperm-donor children about THAT one, especially ones with difficult health problems or risks.)

    That’s leaving out the massive social utility of reproduction itself and the incentive for the state/society/autocrats (including women—even if all the autocrats are women!) to manage and control it. Having oil was a curse for the Middle East in the end, not a bounty. Having too-important, exclusive resources seems to be a bad idea. You can get sperm easily, so there’s less reason to control it.

    And even if we had a totally voluntary system, well, people would start to establish norms…again, unless men give up paternity claims wholesale. Did I hear someone complaining about the existence of family norms? (Leaving aside the thorny question of whether one can get rid of the concept of norms themselves! Particularly with the widespread human disposition to mental shortcuts and classification.)

    So maybe for the sake of women, men should stop asking to know their children? Like many here, I’ve got no kids and no immediate or medium-term plans for them, but… And this is also assuming that family norms are really so central to the issue.

    Actually, I have an alternative to paternity-testing. Give every man a mandatory vasectomy after taking a few sperm samples. Then all pregnancies can come from tracked artificial inseminations. No control over women’s genitalia actually required (but men would require mandatory vasectomies for this to work). Of course, women would have to ask the state/doctors to get her pregnant…but no one has a right to a pregnancy, right? It can even be managed by women!

    I’m sure it was a harrowing experience and i don’t mean to make light of it by making the point that the reproductive system questions are necessary in order to assure that a clean break has been made and that you’re not going to ask for child support for a child conceived within the marriage. True?

    And that’s another good point. Feminists (correctly) complain that men don’t do enough of the housework and childcare, letting women hold the bag. People don’t do much that they don’t have a stake in. Without paternity, women in general would be left holding the bag completely, meaning that social and economic power would continue to remain and concentrate in the hands of men.

    There are societies in which male relatives help the children, and these are generally called “patriarchal extended families”. Someone mentioned them above.

    I’m serious. Let me take my cynic’s association membership card out of my wallet here and show it to you. MEN are hardwired for dominance hierarchies and crapping on the weak. We’re not. Not that we can’t — I can name you plenty of women and girls I’ve known who are damned good at it. But to institutionalize it? I’m sorry if this is un-PC, but tough shit. If men AREN’T hardwired for it, they’re making a damned good show of faking it.

    This is interesting. I remember Twisty once said that if men as such were hardwired for barbarism, then men shouldn’t exist (and hence she didn’t believe it). What do you think? If what you say is true, would you be able to think of a system by which this tendency could be dissipated or rendered less harmful, hmm?

    The experiment isn’t quite pure. Women haven’t had an opportunity to institutionalize much, after all. Which came first, gender or institutions?

    Racism is probably also hardwired — like I said, distrust of the stranger. But I can assure you that this doesn’t mean that black people are gonna put up with it without a fight. Nor do we put up with being crapped on without a fight.

    As I understand it, the criterion for racism has varied, though. Skin colour was in the background at times. In Roman times, the (allegedly) least civilized people also Caucasians like the Roman—the Northern Europeans—and much of the slave class came from, well, the Slavs, as I understand it. Ethiopia was hailed in mythology, at least Greek mythology. Again, not a professional classicist here.

  110. antiprincess

    LMYC – with all due respect, I don’t think it’s possible to do un-feminist things and be a feminist at the same time, any more than it’s possible to both shut up and admit at the same time.

    If you are a feminist, and you are aware that something you dig is non- or anti-feminist, wouldn’t that make you stop digging that thing?

    If you were a vegetarian, and suddenly noticed a hunk of animal protein wedged solidly in your lentil loaf, would you not immediately remove it before violating your vegetarianism? (I mean, who cares how it got there – you don’t want it, right?)

    If it is less than ideal, but ideals are important to you, then you should stop doing the thing that is less than ideal.

    Nobody’s going to take you to task and call you names and say you’re sick and dirty and just-this-side-of-criminal and too-close-to-a-pedophile just because you think the Delaware Destroyers rock (which they do). but they sure as shit will call me out on the fact that I’m kinky. This leads me to believe that it’s okay for certain feminists to do certain non-feminist things (like, collect spike-heeled shoes, or love opera) but not okay for certain other feminists to do certain other non-feminist things (like enjoy kinky sex).

    I would like someone to admit that they think women who are into kink are not feminists. just come right out and say it. somebody ‘fess up and finally get it off your chest: women who are into kink are unenlightened servants of the patriarchy. the feminism of a kinky woman is inferior to the feminism of a woman who is not kinky. at least have the courage to say so. It’s not like I can get any more offended…

  111. LL

    What about this? We have the idea of men being hardwired to go out and impregnate as many women as possible butting its little head up against the modern ideas of financial responsibility for any offspring created. Wouldn’t that lead to a desire to fuck lots of women, yet control those women to make sure we weren’t suffering financially??

    (lots of wine consumed tonight, be nice)

  112. Amber

    That’s just ONE of the many millions of ways patriarchy has boxed women into neat little semantic packages. This occurs across cultures, including our own. Better brush up.

    Well, I have a degree in linguistics, but anyway.

    I can’t have this conversation anymore because I can’t discuss things rationally when people are making all sorts of claims and conclusions about me, my views, etc. based on NOTHING I actually said. I never said anything about my views on marriage. I never denied that women have historically been treated as inferior to men. I never said anything about “saving the men.” This is ridiculous. I would like to have an actual discussion about this stuff, but it’s starting to feel a little too familiar – like when I try to discuss abortion rights on the blog of a fundamentalist Christian. And when I’ve done that in the past, the conclusion I’ve come to is, why bother if people aren’t really going to listen, but make all sorts of ridiculous inferences? That’s not constructive. It’s a waste of everyone’s time.

  113. kelly

    Re: the egg and sperm thing.
    I also read that it is the egg that is the truly active component in the fertilization process. It was thought that the sperm were really vigorous and lashed their way along with their tails, burrowed into the egg, etc. very aggressively. Actually upon observation they had just enough power to go and bump into the egg, which has an extremely sensitive sticky coating, which (don:t ask me how) decides which sperm to let in and which other ones to reject. The article this was in warned about adding another weird gender role to the egg though: instead of the rampaging raping male sperm and the delicate virgin raped egg, it became the helpless males and the sexy femme fatale who chose her victim. Its just a biological process but people can:t seem to help sticking on their own gender related prejudices and preconceptions onto it. Sorry i can:t tell the name of the article, it came up in an anthropology class a couple of years ago.
    Cheers

  114. Puffin

    If you’re going to take your therapist’s word that submissives have the real power while they’re being abused, think about this:

    Submissives in S&M relationships barter their well-being on the idea of a safe word. As if uttering a the magic word when you’ve had enough will cease your abuse. And certainly, submissives have the ‘power’ (and I’m using that term very loosely) to utter that word whenever they deem fit.

    But let’s be clear. The person who is abusing you decides whether or not to honor your request to stop. Unless you’ve mastered some form of black magic, saying your safe word doesn’t automatically end the abusive situation you’re in – your abuser’s decision to honor your request is what ends it. Negotiating limits and boundaries with your abuser before the clothes come off and the whips come out doesn’t matter one lick when your abuser is the one who ultimately decides whether or not to adhere to those boundaries. At best, what you’ve got is the illusion of power, but no real power to speak of.

    You may be fooled but you’re not fooling anyone else – not anyone here for that matter. Seriously, you’re getting nowhere telling us that bottoms are really tops and getting the shit beat out of you is like being the Mayor of Sexy Town. We know what’s what.

  115. veet

    Rose petals leaving my fingers this very instant. For clear, consise, cogent and unambiguous communication Our Dearly Twisted One takes the cake. (I gather you’re not a sweet-freak, only ever see those tasty savories.)

    Fennel greens on fish, in salad, put’em in your tacos–oooh, curried fish tacos. Yum.

    And hedonistic #31, i’m glad you re-posted, I wanted to laud you back there.

    “Lots of things happen during sex. In addition to the truth of cervix and egg’s active participation in capturing sperm, here is a biologically based analysis of one of the dynamics of heterosexual sex.

    “Intercourse is commonly written about and comprehended as a form of possession or an act of possession with which, during which, because of which, a man inhabits a woman, physically covering her and overwhelming her and at the same time penetrating her. And this physical relation to her–over her and inside her–is his possession of her. He has her, or, when he is done, he has had her. By thrusting into her, he takes her over. His thrusting into her is taken to be her capitulation to him as a conquerer; it is a physical surrender of herself to him; he occupies and rules her, expresses his elemental dominance over her, by his possession of her in the fuck.
    The act itself, without more, is the possession. There need not be a social relationship in which the woman is subordinate to the man….Remarkably, it is not the man who is considered possessed in intercourse, even though he (his penis) is buried inside another human being; and his penis is surrounded by strong muscles that contract like a fist shutting tight and release with a force that pushes hard on the tender thing, always so vulnerable no matter how hard. He is not possessed even though his penis is gone–disappeared inside someone else, enveloped, smothered, in the muscled lining of flesh that he never sees, only feels, gripping, releasing, gripping, tighter, harder, firmer, then pushing out: and can he get out alive? seems a fundamental anxiety that fuels male sexual compulsiveness and the whole discipline of depth psychology. The man is not possessed in fucking even though he is terrified of castration; even though he sometimes thinks–singly or collectively in a culture–that the vagina has teeth; but he goes inside anyway, out of compulsion, obsession: not obsessed with her, a particular woman; but with it, getting inside. He is not possessed even though he is terrified of never getting his cock back because she has it engulfed inside her, and it is small compared with the vagina around it pulling it in and pushing it out: clenching it, choking it, increasing the friction and the frisson as he tries to pull out. He is not possessed even though he rolls over dead and useless afterward, shrunk into oblivion: this does not make him hers by virtue of the nature of the act….Men have admitted some form of sexual possession of themselves by women in the fuck when they can characterize the women as witches, evil and carnal…For women, being sexually possessed by men is more pedestrian. Women have been chattels to men as wives, as prostitutes, as sexual and reproductive servants. Being owned and being fucked are or have been virtually synonymous experiences in the lives of women….” (Intercourse ch5, Andrea Dworkin

    Cognitive dissonance is the psychological conflict resulting from simultaneously held incongruous beliefs and attitudes (as a fondness for smoking and a belief that it is harmful). It is one of the underpinning dynamics of patriarchy. It is at work when the physical act of possession of the penis by the vagina is reframed as the penis possessing and the sperm racing off to win the prize. Deep down, maybe in cellular memory, maybe more conscious, men feel this fragility. They have therefore constructed the world to support the fragile ego. Because in addition to a vulnerable penis, they’ve got big muscles and invented weaponry.

    I’m not actually trying for point-scoring here. I’m suggesting that those of you who defend what others find distasteful might explore other aspects of the topic. You might roll your eyes at the mention of Dworkin, but her description is pretty bare-boned. Not based on scripture, but on a philosophical quest to actually understand the dynamics. As our blessedtwisty offers a forum for doing here.

    The practices we’re not going to continue on discussing (thankyoutwisty) are stylized, ritualized ways of interpreting some of that huge sensory bombardment that happens during sex. Physical contact sets off so many cascades of chemicals and impressions that it will always be mysterious. Creativity would be, IMHO, stepping off the beaten(!) track of the aforementioned style and exploring some of the other possibilities for adult human beans.

    Let’ see, what’s to eat?

  116. kelly

    Me again, sorry
    Re: Matriarchy
    Maybe it:s come up on this site before, so apologies, but there is one non-human matriarchy I can think of, in the society of Bonobo or pygmy Chimps. They:re more closely related to humans than pan troglodytes (the chimp we hear more about- you know, the violent, patriarchial, ”60% (i think) of sexual encounters end in rape” chimpanzee), spend more time walking upright than any other primate but humans, are a matriarchy, have sex (hetero and homo) as a way of settling disputes, and generally prefer intimidating displays (waving branches around etc) to violence. Funny how we don:t really hear about them much.

    Re; etomolygy of japanese women:s names
    the ‘snow-white\pure’thing is really interesting, I was always taught that Ko meant ‘child’ – not much better obviously! The chinese character that is used for Ko in names is the same as the one used in Ko-domo (child).

    Cheers

  117. Hissy Cat

    Luckynkl–

    You wrote:

    Well I guess, Amber, you’ll have to take your beef up with the patriarchs. Because along with the history of marriage, I got the definition for “husband” straight from the horse’s mouth. The lexicographers and historians. And who is in charge of naming and defining things again? Oh yeah. The patriarchs.

    Actually, Amber is correct that etymolgy for husband derives from the roots which mean ‘house’ or ‘household’ and ‘dwell’ or ‘have a household.’ The Oxford English Dictionary cites first appearance at c1000 with the obsolete definition ‘male head of household.’ The second definition, “A man joined to a woman by marriage. Correlative of wife.” does not make its first appearance until the 13th century.

    I don’t know who “the lexicographer and historians” are that you’ve been speaking with, but you can find information on the origin of words in a good dictionary. Unfortunately, you need a subscrption to access OED online. However, Miriam-Webster and etymonline.com are free.

    You’re right that marraige is an institution designed to regulate the exchange of women, who are chattel to their husbands and fathers. But the historic facts you are quoting– they’re just wrong.

  118. Mandos

    What about this? We have the idea of men being hardwired to go out and impregnate as many women as possible butting its little head up against the modern ideas of financial responsibility for any offspring created. Wouldn’t that lead to a desire to fuck lots of women, yet control those women to make sure we weren’t suffering financially??

    No one said ANYTHING like this so far. I certainly didn’t. I said nothing about “lots of women” in my post at least. It would hold even if a minority of people ever had sex.

  119. CafeSiren

    According to the History Channel, the weddomg ring symbolized the tether the groom used to tie around his bride’s waist and bolted to the floor to prevent her from running away. She was forbidden from ever seeing her family again.

    This is why the History Channel drives me nuts: anytime they step outside the bounds of WWII, they get just about everything wrong.

    Don’t get me wrong: I know enough about premodern women, gender, and family life to agree that women usually got the short end of just about everything in this institution, and that it’s been a part of our shared cultural heritage for long enough that many people today consider it “natural” when it is fundamentally a cultural construct. But there’s enough actual research out there to prove this point without the HC and such having to resort to bizzare stories about women in chains (other than metaphorical ones). Frankly, I find pop-history images like this to be fetishistic, and contributory to the overall patriarchal project.

    Please don’t take this as an ad hominem (or ad mulieram, as the case may be) attack — it’s just that, as a professional historian who has made a career out of this field of research, stuff like this gets my back up.

    And I still want that enchilada.

  120. Carpetner

    Just because there are more patriarchal societies at this time does not mean that it is natual or inevitable. There are complex forces at work, tribes invadingother tribes different sets of values changing over time. For the last several hundred years certain peoples have been dominated by other peoples but there was nothing that dictated that must have been so. Most of history, like biological evolution, in contingent, that is if you rewind everything far back and then press play again with just random variations you are going to get a world that looks completely different. Also the downplay of matriarchy is ridiculous, There are matriarchies for example the Nagovisi but since no two cultures are exactly same or exactly the opposite from eachother some male scholars do not want to class these as matriarchies because they are not equal and opposite to this particular form of patriarchy. There are many socities on earth where women hold all of most of the political power and/or all of the land and/or all of the economic authority and/or the family name but are still not called matriarchies sometimes becuase men aren’t totally 100% excluded from power but hold some small or token position. This also goes for the animal kingdom. The bonobo or pygmy chimpanzee, our closest animal relative is now agreed upon to be matriarchal, the females hunt control the food supply have a social dominace hierarchy and attack males in groups, but for years biologists would call it a matriarchy they called it “egalitarian” or suggested that the males “let” the females control everything. Sufice it to say that there are many societies that are matrilinial and matrifocal that if you took thier description and switched the words male and female everyone would agree it was a patriarchy, and yet people still refuses to currently call a matriarchy.

  121. LL

    I get to say it!!

    Mandos, Mandos, Mandos – I wasn’t implying that anyone else was saying that. *I* said it. I’m asking what happens if we butt these two ideas together – old-fashioned hard-wiring for species propagation and new-fangled fiscal responsibility of men?? Do we get the patriarchial ideal that men have the right to control the pussy, because they’re either fucking it or paying for it??

    My posts have been quoted twice tonight on Twisty, once by Mandos. Holy shit.

    I’m not going off completely drunkenly half-cocked – the idea of “hard-wiring” has come up. From all the things I’ve been exposed to, we (both men and women) are hard-wired to fuck a bunch of people, thus spreading about the gene pool’s bounty. Men, however, are the only ones “hard-wired” to actually give a crap about who the offspring belongs to.

  122. Mandos

    Mandos, Mandos, Mandos – I wasn’t implying that anyone else was saying that. *I* said it.

    OK, I’ve been misquoted that way before, so I get a little testy about it. So when something after my post came up that sounded like the Naive Sociobiology Hidden Agenda Accusation, I reacted. My apologies for misunderstanding you.

    I’m asking what happens if we butt these two ideas together – old-fashioned hard-wiring for species propagation and new-fangled fiscal responsibility of men?? Do we get the patriarchial ideal that men have the right to control the pussy, because they’re either fucking it or paying for it??

    Well, the fiscal responsibility part is not new-fangled. The claim has always been that men should ideally take good material care of their chattel, at least in the ideal case. ie, may give beatings but must feed and clothe them. Even most patriarchal societies don’t respect men who don’t feed and clothe their women and children at least adequately.

    The new-fangled part is the emotional responsibilty and the responsibility for direct child care for younger children, whose awareness has grown undeniably in the West. I mean, there are cultures in the world where a man holding a baby is a very alien thing, but nowadays in urban North America I see it regularly, or maybe I’m just fortunate. I mean, I like to hold babies. Even feed them. Babies can be fun. (I have none of my own so I’ve never had more responsiblity than that.) I know a lot of men who like it, and will admit so in public. I’m given to understand that there was a time when men wouldn’t not admit it in public.

    If you but this up against the “hard-wiredness” idea, then I suppose you get the idea that men, in order to propagate, have adapted to some aspects of the New Reality to maximize their potential.

    The “hard-wiredness” thing bothers me, though, and not the notion of biological influences on behaviour per se. There’s one naive pop ev-psych view that things are “hard-wired”, yes, meaning immutable at an individual level…but that’s obviously silly. But the critique of it seems to use this version of “hard-wired” as the general case and dismiss any discussion of cognitive predispositions influencing sexual behaviour. I prefer an uncommitted “soft-wired”: there may be biological influences on sexual behaviour, perhaps probably are, but they’re highly “parameterized”, ie, a large set of stable states that can be observed at a population level.

  123. Chris Clarke

    http://www.etymonline.com/

    Hissy Cat, thank you. Don’t know how I’ve missed that, but it’s gonna be of serious utility to me.

  124. cinder

    I think that these quotes are contextually appropriate and probably a lot more articulate than my own ramblings. The essay I took them from is some of the most lucid analysis of sexuality I’ve ever enountered. However, be warned: it’s not very PC.

    “…The essence of sexual sordidness and impoverishment does not reside within one or another sexual activity, although the predominance of one activity may be symptomatic of that impoverishment. It is rather to be found in the fact that, whether alone, with one other person or ten other people, the individual is irremediably separated from humanity by relationships of competition, fatigue and boredom. Fatigue provoked by work, boredom with roles, boredom also with sexuality as a separate activity…”

    “…Ahead of his time, de Sade simply foretold ours – one of the disappearance of any moral guarantee, before man becomes himself. Sooner or later one experiences the same intolerable boredom in reading the marquis’ monotonous catalogue, as when reading the personal ads with their infinite repetition of the forms of a pleasure without communication. Sadeian desire aims to completely reify other people, to make them into a clay out of which he can cut his fantasies. Annihilating otherness, refusing to be dependant on someone else’s desires is a morbid attitude – it means the repetition of the same thing, and death. But, while the Sadeian hero needs to smash social restraints, modern man and his logic of individual fulfillment becomes his own fantasy clay. Rather than getting carried away by his desires, he “realizes his fantasies.” At least he tries to, as one goes “jogging,” instead of running for pleasure or because one has to be somewhere in a hurry. Modern man doesn’t lose himself in his partner – he operates and develops his capacity for carnal pleasure, his aptitude for orgasm. Whipless tamer of his own body, he tells it, “Come!” or “Come harder!” or “Run!” or “Dance!”…”

    Excerpted from “For a World Without Moral Order” by Gilles Dauve.
    http://www.geocities.com/capitolHill/lobby/3909/moral/moral.html

  125. Zenobia

    From #93:

    The suffix “Ko” is sometimes attached to the first names of Japanese women. You can see it in men’s first names too, but it’s more common in women’s names. It means snow-white, which has connotations of purity and virginal innocence.

    Alyx, I appreciate your patriarchy-blaming spirit, but this just isn’t true (though “-ko” is sexist, as is much of the Japanese language). The “-ko” is at the end of many women’s given (which are traditionally last, not first) names means “child”, or (derived from that) “little”. It would be comparable to half the women in the English-speaking world having names such as Sarahette or Susanette.

    Because I prefer discussing food: panko (aka breadcrumbs) are so-named from the Portugese “pan” for bread plus the “ko” as above.

  126. Lorenzo

    Mandos,

    As soon as men know that they have a direct and instigating role in reproduction, regardless of sperm/egg semantics, the desire to allocate children to men emerges immediately.

    I’m not sure this historically holds true. As far as I know it was the development of surplus agriculture that spurred the allocation of children to men (and the subjection of women as a class for the purposes of socially reproducing that surplus through men).

    And I’ve never heard of any case at all where some attempt at allocating children to men hasn’t occurred.

    Again, as far as I know there was no such attempt at allocation in pre-agricultural (more specifically surplus agricultural) societies. I also find it hard to fathom what relevance paternity would have had in such pre-agricultural societies as they operated under much different needs for social reproduction.

    This gets onto very sticky ground very quickly however. There are serious questions as to the mechanisms by which the transition to surplus-agriculture may have generated the conditions to allow the creation of class society and gendered class society, if in fact both occured roughly simultaneously (there are arguments that the oppression of women pre-dates surplus-agriculture and goes right back to hunter-gatherer societies as well). I’m hardly versed enough in this area to be able to speak competently on it, however. (This is actually a significant research interest of mine for various reasons)

  127. xtimu

    you’d think all these bdsm peops would love being bludgeoned by the vitriol directed towards them. yes, you’d think they’d love the abuse. but no, you have use to use their special paraphernalia & ‘safe words’ (what a crock!) before they’re happy & coming all over (fake or otherwise).

    wearing funny outfits to get off just seems SO STUPID! sorry i prefer to remove my clothes.

    thank you & goodnight.

    from http://www.etymonline.com :
    bludgeoned – to have sexual intercourse
    paraphernalia – a woman’s property besides her dowry

  128. Mandos

    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=bludgeon&searchmode=none

    You misread it. Only “bang” has that etymology, which is already well known. Bludgeon doth not.

    The other one is correct.

  129. xtimu

    aww, damb!

    always going for the cheap joke i trip on my own shoelaces

  130. BritGirlSF

    I do hope you’re not actually expecting me to agree with you that further infighting over this issue is a good idea? Not that I don’t understand your point, I just don’t agree with it. I’ve seen far too many leftist movements dissolve in a mess of infighting over the years, which is why it bothers me to see it happening here.
    Clearly we’re not all going to agree about this issue – what’s the point of rehashing it over and over again? It never seems to get us any closer to forming a consensus. Wouldn’t our time and energy be better spent attacking people like the TIH idiots, who are actual bona-fide political opponents?
    I find it odd that I seem to have become the token defender of BSDM here given that I haven’t done it in over 10 years. I’m not sure why I’m even bothering, other than that I keep seeing people say things that just don’t jibe with my personal experience at all. That and the fact that I listen to far toomany Japanese bands in which it’s typically the boys who are wearing the heels and the makeup and getting trussed up like chickens and rolling around on the floor making kissy faces at the camera, for the amusement of a mostly female audience. Seeing the whole think enacted with the intention of appealing to women does tend to put a different spin on things.
    And yes, I fully admit that my beloved visual kei subculture is hopelessly dorky too. Most things that people tend to obsess about are, whether they be BSDM or music or Harry Potter.
    I suppose the point I’m trying to make is kind of similar to the person who posted above about liking George Thoroughgood despite his notable lack of feminist credibility (although I’m sure she would be none too pleased to find me agreeing with her, but not completely). I just don’t see the point in picking apart what are basically entertainment preferences, since we all have some things that we like that clearly don’t jibe with our political feelings. I can’t think of many songs more clearly penis-worshipping than “Bad to the Bone” (much loved by the same guys who buy trucknuts), and yet I feel no need to take the woman who wrote about liking Thoroughgood to task for her fondness for his music because to do so would not only be a waste of time (no-one is going to stop liking something they like just because I tell them they shouldn’t)but because it would needlessly alienate a potential ally. Does that make sense? I just don’t think that continually baiting pro-BSDM feminists is a smart political move.
    OK, now that I’ve broken my own rule I’ll shut up. Apologies for even starting the whole discussion again…

  131. Hissy Cat

    Chris Clarke–

    I recently learned that that my SF Public Library card works from home to log onto OED online. It’s so freaking awesome. All you do is go to the sfpl.org and enter the numbers on the back of your card and, presto, you have off-site access to all the journals the library subscribes to. You might want to check your library and see if they have the same.

  132. Luckynkl

    For those who are interested, I got the definition for “husband” straight out of the dictionary. But I admit that was a few years ago when I was doing research for a paper. So imagine my surprise when I went to the same online dictionary and discovered they had completely changed the definition! Interesting, no? How patriarchy can change definitions as well as re-write history on a dime whenever it suits or benefits them to?

    But, alas, the patriarchs weren’t as quick this time around in covering their tracks as they usually are when it comes to covering up and concealing evidence and their nasty little histories. They seemed to have overlooked this one:

    “Husbandry: the cultivation or production of plants and animals : the scientific control and management of a branch of farming and especially of domestic animals.”

    I rest my case.

    I hope no one imagines that men actually think of women as human? If you do, then you haven’t been paying any attention in history class or to the world around you.

    Why would men want legal ownership of women AND children?

    Well I dunno. Why don’t we ask the women who do 2/3′s of the world’s free labor? And I’m pretty sure I don’t need to explain how children have been historically exploited? Until the turn of the 20th century when even the U.S. government found it offensive enough to pass laws on it.

    In the meanwhile, we have a word for people who work for no pay or benefits for a dominant group. It’s called “slavery.”

    So do I really need to expain why men would want legal ownership of slaves?

    Why would men want to control women’s breeding?

    I dunno. Why do men want to control the breeding of animals?

    But in case you really don’t know, it’s pretty elementary. Well besides the obvious one that men just want absolute power and dominion over the entire earth and every living thing on it. You know, like God? Who man made in his own image?

    Females have what the patriarchs consider the ultimate power. The power to create life. Or not create it. Women are in fact the Gods that patriarchs so long to be. Unable to reproduce life himself, he seeks to control all those who do. Be that female human, plant or animal.

    Why? In the case of humans, in part because of the competition over resources and who gets to control them. But mostly because patriarchy is built on hierarchies. Without the control of women’s uteruses and thus reproduction, patriarchy’s hierarchies would cease to exist. There could be no color, race or ethnicity, class, religion, nationality or whatever today if women’s uteruses weren’t carefully controlled. It would all come to an end if women had free will and choice.

    Men need heirs in order to continue on with their hierarchies. And the way they do that is through the control of women’s uteruses. It enables them to control how many white people and how many people of color there are. They can control the numbers of the upper classes as well as the lower classes. Same goes for religions or even entire nationalities. They can literally wipe out entire ethnicities and nationalities by the control of uteruses. And in fact attempt to do so when they utilize rape during war time in order to reduce the numbers of their adversaries.

    In tune with this, you might also want to be aware that unlike men, women are biologically complete. Not only are women capable of reproducing with men, they are also capable of reproducing with other women. Which is something the patriarchy desperately doesn’t want us to know about. Because it would completely blow their whole game. And is in part why legislation is currently under way which will prohibit women from reproducing by any other means other than by hetero sex with a male.

    The truth of the matter is, males are insignificant in the scheme of life. So insignificant that 99% of them could be eliminated and life still wouldn’t skip a beat. Which is in part why I’m sure men created patriarchy. So the patriarchs could convince women that they’re really, really important. Which they simply aren’t. And this is perhaps what terrifies the big boys most of all and throws them into fits of testeria. That women will discover that males are obsolete and unnecessary. And the big boys sure know what they might do if they were in our shoes and had such power. So it’s mandatory that they prevent women from exercising that power and conceivably eliminating them and their whole blasted system altogether or reducing them into small, minute, powerless numbers. So basically what men dream of are mommies without any power or authority.

    And yet, and yet. My husband and I have a marriage of equals. Of Equals. it is possible. Happy

    Feminist wrote a great post about her marriage in response to some Christians who disagreed that a marriage could be anything other than dominant/submissive. (Hm. How interesting…it all ties back in… !)

    Unless both you and your husband were raised in the jungle by wolves and are currently living on Pluto, it is an impossibility for you to be equal in this society under patriarchy. The hierachies of society prevent it from being so. Your very conditioning from birth prevents it from being so. And even if you were *both* able to rise above it all, you will be bombarded by images 24/7 that will contradict that equality. Furthermore, you will not be treated as one and the same by society and that will effect your relationship no matter how you try to turn a blind eye to it all.

    In the meanwile, I’m wondering why you thought you needed the big pappa’s permission in the first place to share your life with someone you wanted to be with? Isn’t your word good enough? Why do you have to turn your autonomy over to your husband and the state in order to prove your love?

    And for the record, I am against marriage in any shape, color or form. Be it hetero or gay. Gay marriage only imitates and reinforces the hetero model. As far as I’m concerned, it’s an unethical and barbaric custom. No one has the right to another person. Not to their body, not to their property and not to their labor. Is it ethical to “own” another person? Once the state steps in, one is no longer free and will not have free will and choice. And being the state is patriarchal, guess who they’re going to find favor with?

    And don’t even get me started on Christianity. If we cut through the bull, we’d see that the entire religion is based on the incestuous rape of a 14 year old girl (Mary) by her symbolic father (God), who she is impregnated by, and then goes on with little choice but to bear his son. This is what is considered holy and sacred and worshipped?! Well I sure didn’t miss the message it holds for men. That how they can become God and control uteruses is through rape.

    So I part with some food for thought. It would be a very big mistake to think that intercourse, under patriarchy, is a “natural” act. It is anything but.

  133. Sara

    OMG — EtymOnline!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    I love you all so much right now. (sniff)

    This reminds me a little of reading Proust. Remembrance of Times Past is looooooooong, but I read the entire thing (with many nap breaks) one winter month in Alaska decades ago, and though I hated it, I didn’t regret reading it. See, if I hadn’t read it — all of it — I would have missed a certain conversation in a carriage between that professor guy and our hero as a boy. If I had missed that conversation, I would never have learned so much about French etymology and orthography. But because I did not miss that conversation, I learned a few very useful things like why there is a circumflex in château, which strangely my education in American public schools and even at the Sorbonne had not taught me (and yeah, that’s the patriarchy’s fault, as, apparently, is that dratted circumflex — freakin’ Julius Caesar!).

    This is a looooooong discussion, with not nearly enough about the enchiladas. But if one bothers to read through the entire thing one will discover at least two wonderful things, to wit: (1) where to get gingerbread pancake mix, and (2) the existence of EtymOnline. Plus, there are those passages on fennel. Aaaaaah.

    Totally worth it. Thanks, folks.

  134. Twisty

    BritGirl, it’s over. Really. But it’s my blog, and I wanted to have the last word.

    Amanda, that’s not all cheese you see in that picture. The enchiladas were sauced with salsa suiza, which is basically sour cream (the dish is also offered with verde and roja, but my chemo-poisoned system can’t take the heat, so I have to opt for the mildest versions of everything).

    Everyone else: thanks for this hilarious discussion. Patriarchy-blaming really IS fun!

  135. Rhus

    LMYC gets angry. From another opera lover: remember Twisty’s advice, “patriarchy-blaming should be fun,” of which she sets a wonderful example. If it makes you so tired to rehash old arguments… just don’t; for example, reread Twisty’s post and take a deep breath.

    Probably somebody like Amber will come to the rescue… and then get frustrated too:

    “why bother if people aren’t really going to listen, but make all sorts of ridiculous inferences? That’s not constructive. It’s a waste of everyone’s time.”

    Well, no, Amber. I’m listening and surely a lot of people are too. I just skip the ridiculous inferences and stay with your reasonable data. Several people have followed your line. It’s a drag, but an unavoidable part of too many discussions, and I’m thanful to people who do this cumbersome work. It would be wonderful if the only misunderstandings happened because of the order of posts, as above, but…

    Anyway, there are too many conversations going on here at once and things get a little out of focus, I guess.

  136. Rhus

    Twisty pushed the button while I was still writing. Too bad. Hers should be the last.

  137. Mandos

    Most of history, like biological evolution, in contingent, that is if you rewind everything far back and then press play again with just random variations you are going to get a world that looks completely different.

    See, I know a lot of people say this, but I don’t actually believe it. I do think that there are “modes” that occur. Not all situations are equally likely.

    There are matriarchies for example the Nagovisi but since no two cultures are exactly same or exactly the opposite from eachother some male scholars do not want to class these as matriarchies because they are not equal and opposite to this particular form of patriarchy. There are many socities on earth where women hold all of most of the political power and/or all of the land and/or all of the economic authority and/or the family name but are still not called matriarchies sometimes becuase men aren’t totally 100% excluded from power but hold some small or token position.

    I looked up these societies:

    http://www.saunalahti.fi/penelope/Feminism/KhasiGaro.html

    Again, the Internet is not omniscient, but Nagovisi—and other peoples—may have some parts of a reverse of gender roles, but their social system happens to include marriage. I mean, my family hails from South Asia, and it is women who do all the marriage-arranging at least in our little subculture…

    This gets onto very sticky ground very quickly however. There are serious questions as to the mechanisms by which the transition to surplus-agriculture may have generated the conditions to allow the creation of class society and gendered class society, if in fact both occured roughly simultaneously (there are arguments that the oppression of women pre-dates surplus-agriculture and goes right back to hunter-gatherer societies as well). I’m hardly versed enough in this area to be able to speak competently on it, however. (This is actually a significant research interest of mine for various reasons)

    Again, I too have seen various conflicting reports on this and know not what to make of it. Prehistory is of considerable research interest of mine as well, but more from the POV of the development of human language. There aren’t any societies extant that I can name, even matrifocal/matrilocal/matriliineal/matriarchal ones that still don’t have some form of man-to-child allocation system, presumably at the very least to distribute men to children. If the evidence was overwhelming that there existed a society in which men took no interest in the “who’s your daddy?” question, I would really like to see that.

    You may be right that it’s the development of property and agriculture that did this. However, that in itself is significant: as soon as large, stable cooperative efforts came into being, men took special interest in their legacies. We ain’t going back to a preagricultural era except via collapse. But, again, I have my doubts that preagriculture excluded socializing the male component of procreation. Maybe it treated it in a more relaxed way. Who knows?

  138. Rain

    RE Japanese girl names

    As someone else already mentioned, “ko” at the end of Japanese girls’ names mean “child,” not “snow-white.” But these names have become so VERY unpopular, you hardly meet anyone under 20 with names ending with a “ko.”

    The “ko” at the end of “panko”(breadcrumbs) is not the same “ko” used for the names, but a different “ko” meaning “crumbs” or “flakes,” as in snowflakes. The chinese characters used is different.

    Just to clear that up….

  139. Mandos

    Hmm. Alternatively, the existence of some matriarchal societies that still have marriage is suggestive of a counterargument to marriage=patriarchy view. Well, it depends on your criterion, I guess.

  140. DJ

    “I blamed the patriarchy but all I got was his stupid orgasm.”

    Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!

    Roll out the CafePress bazaar, I say.

  141. Delphyne

    “LMYC – with all due respect, I don’t think it’s possible to do un-feminist things and be a feminist at the same time, any more than it’s possible to both shut up and admit at the same time.”

    Of course it’s possible. Your insistence of feminist purity makes no sense whatsoever. Feminists wear make-up, high-heeled shoes, do more than their fair share of the housework, worry about not having a man and any other manner of anti-women things. What makes a feminist is her willingness to analyse those actions from a feminist point of view and to stop doing them where she is able.

    Do you regard yourself as a feminist antiprincess?

  142. robin

    I think I’m going to copy this whole danged thread, print it out, and submit it as my PhD thesis, with Twisty credited as my advisor.
    Weighty stuff here!

  143. laughingmuse

    Thanks, Twisty. You are great.

  144. Finn

    Mandos, “There aren’t any societies extant that I can name, even matrifocal/matrilocal/matriliineal/matriarchal ones that still don’t have some form of man-to-child allocation system, presumably at the very least to distribute men to children.”

    There has to be a system of man-to-child allocation. Otherwise, there’d be no way to know who to blame. ;-)

  145. kate

    Oh how the submissive yearned
    Not only for a good spanking
    Or that the knot be tighter turned
    But that the doubters stop their yanking

    They just don’t understand she complains
    That consent is given in this relationship
    And therefore she really has the reigns
    and is responsible for the tightening of his grip

    One’s mind cannot help to notice particulars
    Such as women who died from rape and violence
    That according to BDSM practitioners
    If they had lived would rejoice in the wonders of forced compliance

  146. Amber

    For those who are interested, I got the definition for “husband” straight out of the dictionary. But I admit that was a few years ago when I was doing research for a paper. So imagine my surprise when I went to the same online dictionary and discovered they had completely changed the definition! Interesting, no? How patriarchy can change definitions as well as re-write history on a dime whenever it suits or benefits them to?

    That is absolutely ridiculous. Not to belabor the linguistic discussion (okay, who am I kidding, of course to belabor the linguistic discussion), but it just does not work that way. There is no high ruling body of old white men with rubber stamps and serf girls at their feet, making sweeping changes to the dictionary (which dictionary? there is more than one) every few years, then systematically eradicating all the previous dictionaries and replacing them with this new one with their new, sinister, patriarchal definitions. I’m sorry your professor did not correct your mistake in your paper.

    There are no two ways about it – the etymology of ‘husband’, the NOUN, is exactly what I mentioned – OE hus plus OE buran – “one who dwells in the house.” Do not confuse a definition with etymology. The strong in Webster’s dictionary is “a male partner in a marriage” – because this is how we use the word in the English language today; this is the morphological meaning of the word. However, the meaning and the history of a word are often (almost always) very different, because language naturally evolves over time. Language change does NOT operate on a top-down effect.

    Now, also, “husbandry” is a different word. You should not conflate the meanings of “husband” (the noun referring to a person) and “husbandry” (the noun referring to a practice). The historical meaning (not etymology) of the word “husbandry” is “the care of a household.” Obviously, the two words are related – but it is worth noting that neither eytmylogical root contains a reference to women, men, marriage, etc. So, to claim that the word “husband” demonstrates a historic treatment of women as animals is disingenuous at best.

    Anyway. I’m stopping now, gotta go to work. I won’t even get started on the claims about kinky sex being “un-feminist” (for example), because I know it’s like shouting at a brick wall.

  147. Delphyne

    “Well, I have a degree in linguistics, but anyway.”

    Did you ever read people like Deborah Tannen or Monique Wittig, Amber? How about Dale Spender’s Man-made Language?

    The evidence is all around us. Luckynkl’s example of the meaning of “husband” is just one.

  148. Amber

    The strong in Webster’s dictionary is “a male partner in a marriage”

    Oops, HTML mistake- that should read, “the definition in Webster’s dictionary…”

    Stopping now, since apparently I hate women, am not a feminist, and need to burn my linguistics degree.

  149. antiprincess

    not anymore, delphyne. I thought I was up ’til a couple days ago, but I can’t claim it anymore.

    “Your insistence of feminist purity makes no sense whatsoever. Feminists wear make-up, high-heeled shoes, do more than their fair share of the housework, worry about not having a man and any other manner of anti-women things. What makes a feminist is her willingness to analyse those actions from a feminist point of view and to stop doing them where she is able.”

    so it’s okay to wear makeup and high heels as long as I feel guilty about it? as long as I have analyzed my makeup and high heel wearing and decided that I’m unable to stop? what would prevent my forswearing makeup and high heels, really? the whims of fashion? the capricious dictates of the workplace? how are those “reasons” any more honorable or less resistable than my “reasons”?

    and do you expect anyone to call you on wearing makeup and high heels, and tell you you’re sick and depraved, and make mean-spirited comments that belie a smug sense of superiority? probably not.

    there is a hierarchy of what is acceptably or excusably unfeminist (or anti-woman)and what is not. I (perpetually undefaced by cosmetics and resolutely birkenstocked, but still kinky) fall on the shit end of that stick. that seems to be the harsh reality.

    even if I decide I’m still a feminist (who does un-feminist things), I’m not sure I’ll claim it in public anymore.

  150. Erin

    antiprincess: “LMYC – with all due respect, I don’t think it’s possible to do un-feminist things and be a feminist at the same time”

    Wow. While I admire your ideological purity, I think you’re one of the few people reading here who holds that particular view, and if that’s how you feel you’re being seen, then it’s no wonder you feel so defensive. It’s been discussed here in other contexts: the wearing of high heels or teeny-tiny handbags; who takes whose name post marriage and who gives whose name to the kids; whether or not even to get married in the first place; whether or not to breed in the first place. I don’t think that many people here are saying that if you find subbing to be sexually fulfilling that you should leave here immediately and join IWF or Ladies Against Feminism — at least that’s not what I think. What I do think is something that’s been mentioned here and there throughout this entire site: when you live within a patriarchy, and you’re vaginally-endowed, often the choices you’re provided with are not ideal ones. Sometimes they aren’t even really choices. That’s just how it is. What’s important in feminism is to take a serious look at those choices and understand why you choose Thing A over thing BDSM, or vice versa. Choices have meanings.

    I was recently at a wedding. The bride chose to take her husbands last name, and when they were introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Patriarchal Custom, the woman seated next to me said, “Fuck! Why can’t one of my friends keep their own fucking last names?” And you know what, I agree with her, because there’s something about giving up the identity and history that goes with my name in service to a patriarchal custom that creeps me out. But I would never say that someone who makes that choice can’t be a feminist. And I know that my friend made her choice for her reasons, in the awareness that it’s not necessarily such an ideologically pure tradition, and she’s completely at peace with it, and my opinions don’t enter into it.

    As far as BDSM goes, I’m with Twisty: I think it’s an eroticization of the worst and scariest parts of patriarchy. I also think that it tends to be dorky. But I don’t think that someone who has thought through the symbolism, and the context and consequences and still likes to have someone control her actions and behaviors, who finds dominance and pain to be sexually fulfilling, is automatically not my sister. To my mind, I think that the sexualization of submission is a consequence of confusion, and maybe of resignation to patriarchal standards writ large, in some sense, but it’s no less and no more anti-feminist than enjoying Cosmo, or wearing stilettos, or naming your kid Husband, Jr, or deciding to have breast reconstruction after a boobectomy.

    This gets mentioned less often, but I’m also concerned about the motivations of a lot of male tops, who aren’t into the scene based on the kind of “one shit sandwich versus two shit sandwiches” false choice that someone mentioned in another thread. I also don’t buy the working through sexual trauma stuff — unless it’s supposed to be a means of resigning or desensitizing oneself to the inevitability of sex as involuntary trauma. Someone here posed the question of why, if sexual submission really were a way of working these things through, no one seems to say “Wow, I’m glad that’s all worked through, and now I don’t really need to be tied up and controlled and have my rape re-enacted anymore.” When my parents sent me to counseling after being raped at age seven, I can tell you what their reaction would have been had anyone suggested to them that repeated re-enaction of the abuse in my adult sexual life was probably the way to go in terms of a course of treatment, and it wouldn’t have been whole-hearted enthusiasm, provided, of course that it was all safe, sane, and consensual.

    I’m also really curious about why the discussion is almost always about women’s rape fantasies, or women’s eroticization of submission (the whole TIH deal), and very rarely about the flip side: men’s eroticization of rape, and the underlying beliefs about women that lead to the eroticization of physical and sexual domination and control. The fact that this never seems to be under discussion makes it all the more concerning to me — it’s as though that aspect is a given, when it’s probably the most sinister part, in my mind at least.

    As for male subs and female dommes (because someone inevitably brings them up, a la “But men can be raped, too!”), I think that LMYC has had the definitive word on that, and if you haven’t read her previous comments on the subject, I highly recommend checking back through the threads for them.

    Sorry for the rambling: blame the Vicodin. But I do think that, to the extent that you feel you’re being judged and found wanting as a feminist, a lot of that seems to be coming from your interpretation of what’s being said here, rather than from the actual words that a lot of us are sharing. And I think that’s unfortunate, because I’d like to hear more about your feelings about your feminism and BDSM, and a lot of the subs here seem to feel so defensive that they can’t share more than their belief that it’s something innate to their sexuality, and therefore off-limits for thoughtful discussion.

  151. louiseculmer

    Amber, you don’t hate women, but this lot definitely do! Any woman, that is, who doesn’t conform to their PC notion of what a woman should be.

  152. hedonistic

    Sigh . . . they always say they’re leaving . . . but then they never do . . . ;-)

  153. J Crowley

    What you say would really only make sense if there were no women at all who got off on BDSM activity, and such is clearly not the case.

    I’ll even provide an example: my girlfriend’s mom dominates men as a hobby. She’s a laser scientist with a PhD from MIT, has a loving relationship with her husband, has a healthy relationship with her two daughters, and every so often she’ll have a male friend over to dominate. She doesn’t do it for money, or as some kind of duty–she does it because she enjoys it and gets off on it. (Don’t worry, it’s not a secret and I’m not infringing on privacy or anything.)

    BDSM plays on the power structures in sexuality, and exaggerates them often to grotesquery. Sure, it can often be about breaking people down or reducing them to sex toys, but it works both ways. If you think it’s all a man thing, that implies that you believe that men are inherently the dominant party in any sexual relationship, and women are inherently submissive, and all BDSM does is throw that into relief.

    To claim that BDSM is a wholly male-dominated thing shows a misunderstanding of the fetish, and of human sexuality and fetishism in general. You might as well claim that foot fetishism is a tool of the patriarchy, or balloon-popping fetishes, or messy fetishes. It’s an arbitrary value judgment you’re making, and is obviously made from far outside the world of fetishism. What it indicates is that you’ve maybe seen a picture of a girl chained to a bed and being flogged, and you drew the conclusion–and wrote it in pen–that it’s all only about forcefully putting women in their place.

    One of the principles you’re missing, here, is that respectable BDSM is consentual. In cases where it isn’t, it’s rape. There’s a difference. And women wouldn’t consent to it if they weren’t getting something out of it as well.

  154. J Crowley

    Oh, also: Fetishism is no more a choice than homosexuality. Just trust me on this.

  155. Kerlyssa

    What about the Men, followed by This Blog is a Parody, followed by You Hate Women, followed by You Got This from the Cover of a Newsweek, Didn’t You?

    An amazing microcosm of the anti-Twistiverse, right here in this thread. Thank god it’s the last one.

    Now, I have to go rescue a bra from the clutches of the resident cat(male). Can I blame the patriarchy, or does this just mean I hate pussy?

  156. hedonistic

    Crowley, either you never really read Twisy’s post on this subject, you’ve got reading comprehension problems, or, you’re just a delusional ass? I can’t decide! All your points have already been ripped to shreds in this thread; perhaps you could try re-reading it. At any rate, you may stick your fingers in your ear and go lalalalalalala all you want, just do it elsewhere, or, as Twisty says, “preferably nowhere.”

    And Louise, I have to say this about us supposedly “hating women.” Ever heard of the psychological term “projection?” Look it up on your own time, but if you insist on continuing to post on Twisty’s site just remember, this is a radical feminist blog and you’re on HER turf. Patriarchy-Blaming is what Twisty does. As the saying goes, “You don’t like what she’s cooking you don’t have to eat it.” You don’t see us causing a ruckus over at TIH, do you?

  157. Burrow

    So when Twisty says “enough” you all just can’t stop can you? We’ve heard the BDSM arguements before. There are several 100 comment posts about that subject.

    J Crowley, do us all a favour and read up on those b/c this has all been exlained MANY MANY times on this very blog and like Twisty, I am just as sick of it.

    Anti-princess: shoot, Delphyne beat me to it, so what she said. Also I didn’t get that out of LMYC’s comment. All that LMYC was saying, and I agree wholeheartedly is that if you do it, please don’t pretend it has nothing to do with society. Analyse it, because that’s all we feminists can do sometimes. Look at how patriarchy influences it. Fetishization of power? Sounds really patriarcahl to me. I only have a problem with it when people start screaming about how transcendental it is and how liberating and subversive and anti-patriarchal it is. It’s not, but if you enjoy it, by all means. (just please PLEASE take a closer look at it. For us here in Twistyland.)

    Sorry Twisty, I’ll stop now.

  158. tisha

    Crowley, either you never really read Twisy’s post on this subject, you’ve got reading comprehension problems, or, you’re just a delusional ass? I can’t decide! All your points have already been ripped to shreds in this thread; perhaps you could try re-reading it. At any rate, you may stick your fingers in your ear and go lalalalalalala all you want, just do it elsewhere, or, as Twisty says, “preferably nowhere.”

    And Louise, I have to say this about us supposedly “hating women.” Ever heard of the psychological term “projection?” Look it up on your own time, but if you insist on continuing to post on Twisty’s site just remember, this is a radical feminist blog and you’re on HER turf. Patriarchy-Blaming is what Twisty does. As the saying goes, “You don’t like what she’s cooking you don’t have to eat it.” You don’t see us causing a ruckus over at TIH, do you?

  159. antiprincess

    (reply to LMYC apparently awaiting clearance.)

    burrow – I’m not screaming. I admit, I about lost my religion once or twice, and I took responsibility for that, but so far I’ve not been pushing, promulgating, broadcasting, advertising, advocating, publishing, loudly proclaiming or anything but questioning those members of the feminist movement who see fit to punk people like me and then say “oh but you can still call yourself one of us.”

    I can call myself a feminist, but as part of the problem I can never be fully part of the solution, can I? I can never be as much of a feminist in the eyes of the movement as someone who doesn’t identify as kinky. you know it and I know it. now I want someone to say it to my face.

    I have to question a movement that condones certain of its members engaging in certain un-movement activities but disdains (and yes, y’all disdain) others of its members for engaging in other un-movement activities. that’s a little too Orwellian for me to ignore.

  160. Delphyne

    “Now, also, “husbandry” is a different word. You should not conflate the meanings of “husband” (the noun referring to a person) and “husbandry” (the noun referring to a practice). The historical meaning (not etymology) of the word “husbandry” is “the care of a household.” Obviously, the two words are related – but it is worth noting that neither eytmylogical root contains a reference to women, men, marriage, etc”

    Where do you think etymology stops, Amber? Language continues to evolve therefore the etymological roots of words continue to grow. So what if the earliest etymological root of “husband” does not mention marriage? It’s what it came to mean. “Husband” with meaning a woman’s spouse and “husband” meaning the care of a household and animals are the same word. The people who needed a verb for caring of crops and animals didn’t pluck “husband” out of thin air because they liked its sound. They used it because women were viewed as men’s property, in the same way as crops, livestock and households were. That’s the connection. Maybe you don’t like it because it’s blindingly obvious rather than hidden in the distant past.

    “Webster’s 1913 Dictionary

    Definition:
    \Hus”band\, n. [OE. hosebonde, husbonde, a husband, the
    master of the house or family, AS. h?sbonda master of the
    house; h?s house bunda, bonda, householder, husband; prob.
    fr. Icel. h?sb[=o]ndi house master, husband; h?s house
    b?andi dwelling, inhabiting, p. pr. of b?a to dwell; akin to
    AS. b?an, Goth. bauan. See {House Be}, and cf. {Bond} a
    slave, {Boor}.]
    1. The male head of a household; one who orders the economy
    of a family. [Obs.]

    2. A cultivator; a tiller; a husbandman. [Obs.] –Shak.

    The painful husband, plowing up his ground.
    –Hakewill.

    He is the neatest husband for curious ordering his
    domestic and field accommodations. –Evelyn.

    3. One who manages or directs with prudence and economy; a
    frugal person; an economist. [R.]

    God knows how little time is left me, and may I be a
    good husband, to improve the short remnant left me.
    –Fuller.

    4. A married man; a man who has a wife; — the correlative to
    wife.

    The husband and wife are one person in law.
    –Blackstone.

    5. The male of a pair of animals. [R.] –Dryden.

    {A ship’s husband} (Naut.), an agent representing the owners
    of a ship, who manages its expenses and receipts.

    \Hus”band\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Husbanded}; p. pr. &
    vb. n. {Husbanding}.]
    1. To direct and manage with frugality; to use or employ to
    good purpose and the best advantage; to spend, apply, or
    use, with economy.

    For my means, I’ll husband them so well, They shall
    go far. –Shak.

    2. To cultivate, as land; to till. [R.]

    Land so trim and rarely husbanded. –Evelyn.

    3. To furnish with a husband. [R.] –Shak.”

  161. hedonistic

    Antiprincess, maybe I missed a comment up there, but I haven’t seen ANYONE suggest anything of the sort, except when YOU were suggesting it to the rest of us? Perhaps you should have that discussion with your bathroom mirror? This is what feminist analysis is all about: Analyze your choices, such as they are, make them, and take responsibility for them. And if you deliberately make a nonfeminist choice, own it. DONE.

    (you may try to create a shadow monster to box with, but I don’t think it’ll work here, because we ain’t playin.)

  162. J Crowley

    Oh, damn, I guess I’m wrong then. I’ll have to go and tell my girlfriend’s very successful, very intelligent, very feminist mother that she can no longer be aroused by BDSM because she’s only aiding the patriarchy in subjugating and oppressing her. Shucks, she’ll be crushed!

    Bah. I’m not about to teach a course on sex ed and fetishism to adults with the sexual comprehension levels of kindergarteners, which all seems to be the reactionary result to seeing a girl get spanked once. Go ahead and believe fetishes are choices, and women choose to be aroused by the things they do, and only do so because they’re not strong enough to resist the mighty, mind-controlling forces of men. You’re not doing women a damn bit of good with that attitude, and honestly it’s a little insulting that you think women’s sex drives are merely irresistable functions of those of men, but please, continue. Don’t let me stop you.

  163. Ron Sullivan

    Amber, you don’t hate women, but this lot definitely do!

    Quote-a-matic:

    ” ‘Uncritical support’ is a contradiction in terms.”
    ———————————- Joanna Russ

  164. Carpenter

    Me: “Most of history, like biological evolution, in contingent, that is if you rewind everything far back and then press play again with just random variations you are going to get a world that looks completely different.”

    Mandos: See, I know a lot of people say this, but I don’t actually believe it. I do think that there are “modes” that occur. Not all situations are equally likely.

    Mandos,
    the contigency of biological evolution is a testable hypothesis, and one that is supported by scientific evidence. Though not ALL situations are equally likely, there many many many microstates each with a small probability. This anology is a rough and rocky lanscape with many hills and pockets. If you randomly start chucking marbles into the landscape they will distribute themselves randomly around it.

  165. J Crowley

    Oh, also: “Ripped to shreds” is completely subjective an assessment. Given observable evidence in the world around us, I’m strongly inclined to say that everything I said is in accordance with reality. Now, if you can prove that my girlfriend’s mom doesn’t enjoy BDSM, and that no other women do, and that fetishism is a choice, go right ahead. But until you can provide proof of such–well, not only proof of such but proof that’s more believable than the proof that exists supporting my case–then, applying the scientific method, my report on BDSM and sexuality is more accurate than “all sex is controlled by the patriarchy”.

  166. hedonistic

    Crowley, no one said she didn’t enjoy it. Can’t you read? I guess not.

  167. antiprincess

    Hedonistic said:

    Antiprincess, maybe I missed a comment up there, but I haven’t seen ANYONE suggest anything of the sort, except when YOU were suggesting it to the rest of us? Perhaps you should have that discussion with your bathroom mirror? This is what feminist analysis is all about: Analyze your choices, such as they are, make them, and take responsibility for them. And if you deliberately make a nonfeminist choice, own it. DONE.

    (you may try to create a shadow monster to box with, but I don’t think it’ll work here, because we ain’t playin.)”

    I don’t think it’s accurate or wise to assume that just because someone stubbornly disagrees with you that s/he is somehow trifling with you, or that s/he is your intellectual inferior. I assure you I take this just as seriously as you do.

    as much as you may feel proud and virtuous for appearing to put me in my place, I stand by my comments. phrases like “do it somewhere else, or as Twisty says, PREFERABLY NOWHERE” (emphasis mine)

    or here, the entirety of Ximu’s post:

    “you’d think all these bdsm peops would love being bludgeoned by the vitriol directed towards them. yes, you’d think they’d love the abuse. but no, you have use to use their special paraphernalia & ’safe words’ (what a crock!) before they’re happy & coming all over (fake or otherwise).

    wearing funny outfits to get off just seems SO STUPID! sorry i prefer to remove my clothes.”

    and a whole host of other statements throughout this thread lead me to discern a general tone that to the patriarchy-blamers that matter, kinky people are beneath contempt no matter how feminist they delude themselves into thinking they are.

    if that’s how it goes, that’s how it goes. it would be useful to know that upfront, that’s all.

  168. jo

    “152 J Crowley on Mar 1st, 2006 at 10:35 am

    Oh, also: Fetishism is no more a choice than homosexuality. Just trust me on this.”

    No. I don’t trust you on this. Are you saying that people are BORN with a certain fetish? And never can get over it? That’s not my experience.

  169. J Crowley

    No, but you implied that by enjoying it, she’s only a self-deluded fool who’s too stupid to realize that she’s just worshipping penis.

  170. J Crowley

    Jo: I dunno, I’ve had a foot fetish my whole life and can’t seem to get over it. Maybe there’s some kind of a camp I can go to where recovered foot fetishists can teach me the errors of my ways.

  171. Amber

    No. I don’t trust you on this. Are you saying that people are BORN with a certain fetish? And never can get over it? That’s not my experience.

    That statement presupposes that a fetish is something to be gotten over.

    Where have I heard this before? Ah yes, the religious wingnuts, talking about how all those godless sinners can overcome their homosexuality if they just put their faith in God…

  172. J Crowley

    Amber: Jinx!

  173. hedonisticpleasureseeker

    Antiprincess, so he/she/they think(s) your kink is ridiculous, so big fucking what? I think dog shows are ridiculous!!! Still, I didn’t see where other un-feminist choices were deemed less inferior, except by you.

    Frankly, I find Twisty’s “I Mock Your Corny BDSM Lifestyle” category very funny, despite the fact that I’m an (occasional) practitioner! Can’t we laugh at our own corniness?

  174. hedonistic

    . . . and one more thing, scroll up and check out Erin’s comment at #150, it just got past the spamulator!

  175. hedonistic

    Crowley:

    Deluded? Until it’s pointed out to her, yeah.

    Stupid? No, brilliant people can still be ignorant.

    Fool? Only if she continues to delude herself that BDSM is “feminist.” She may have liberated herself from the societal rule that all sex be vanilla, but she hasn’t liberated herself from the Patriarchy.

    For what it’s worth, as I mentioned up there somewheres, not that it’s anyone’s business, I’m straight and, as THE Hedonistic Pleasure Seeker, engage in practices that many folks might deem “kinky.” However, I’m just not gonna bore the shit out of y’all by describing them, and I’M NOT gonna call them feminist.

    There, I’m done. Even I have grown bored with this topic. Fancy that!

  176. antiprincess

    HPS – the “can’t you take a joke” defense? now who’s playing?

    I will concede that nobody’s really said “antiprincess, your personal kink is ridiculous.” (I really haven’t talked in great detail about my personal kink.) what they’ve said is that being kinky runs counter to feminism in a way that is not only silly on a personal level but damaging to womankind. patriarchy-blamers disapprove of things that are damaging to womankind, right? one could even go so far as to say that patriarchy-blamers have no respect for things that are damaging to womankind.

    I’m kinky. therefore, according to y’all, my behavior damages womankind. can you see where I’m going with this?

    I asked above how many “get out of ideology free” cards one gets in his/her lifetime before s/he runs out of feminist street cred. and I still wonder about that. how much non-feminist stuff can someone get away with and still identify as feminist?

    re the house of cards that is the BDSM “community”? there are many aspects of that which ought to be mocked. no doubt. but this is not the time or the place.

  177. Delphyne

    “not anymore, delphyne. I thought I was up ’til a couple days ago, but I can’t claim it anymore.”

    Well if you aren’t calling yourself a feminist, you certainly don’t get to decide who is and isn’t a feminist or pronounce that women who do anti-women things aren’t feminists.

    “so it’s okay to wear makeup and high heels as long as I feel guilty about it? as long as I have analyzed my makeup and high heel wearing and decided that I’m unable to stop? what would prevent my forswearing makeup and high heels, really? the whims of fashion? the capricious dictates of the workplace? how are those “reasons” any more honorable or less resistable than my “reasons”?”

    It’s you who is bringing in all this nonsense about guilt and contempt and ideological purity. Feminist analysis is easy peasy. The question you ask is “do men have to do it?” or “does it happen to men?”. So, no, men don’t have to wear high heels or make-up to be regarded as socially acceptable, and no, men are not sexually objectified and marked as the sex class in this society, and as women and men appear to have different experiences in those areas then the next question is “what is causing it?” and the answer is usually “patriarchy” and “male supremacy”. And accepting that people give in to social pressures rather than standing up to that oppression is just a humane way of looking at people, oneself included. If you want to feel guilty about stuff that’s up to you, but it doesn’t have anything to do with feminism.

  178. CafeSiren

    And women wouldn’t consent to it if they weren’t getting something out of it as well.

    I think that’s just the point: women DO get something out of consenting to domination (whether BDSM or otherwise): the approval of either pro-patriarchy individuals, or of patriarchal culture as a whole.

    That approval and acceptance can be heady stuff, and addictive as any drug.

  179. J Crowley

    Okay, so just so I’m clear, here: EVERYTHING = THE ALMIGHTY PHALLUS

    So, then, what sexual practices /aren’t/ the patriarchy?

  180. hedonistic

    Well, just to put out the olive leaf, your footsy-footsy might qualify. ;-)

  181. antiprincess

    delphyne, my critique stems from a thorough reading of every line of this thread, and between every line of this thread. regret to inform that I remain unconvinced.

    “Well if you aren’t calling yourself a feminist, you certainly don’t get to decide who is and isn’t a feminist or pronounce that women who do anti-women things aren’t feminists.”

    I think it’s reasonable for anyone to pronounce that people who do anti-women things aren’t feminists.

    and I am further moved to argue that if y’all aren’t kinky, y’all may not get to pronounce what’s consensual and what’s not.

  182. LMYC

    I have to question a movement that condones certain of its members
    engaging in certain un-movement activities but disdains (and yes,
    y’all disdain) others of its members for engaging in other
    un-movement activities. that’s a little too Orwellian for me to
    ignore.

    Well, seeing as how one behavior involves listening to music and the other involves beating people up, yeah. I’d say there’s a difference in degree, and that one’s definitely worse than the other. What, are you nuts? How remedial does this need to get before you logick yourself out of the inescapable conclusion that what you do is polluted with patriarchy?

    And Crowley, I can’t believe I’m actually going to WASTE MY FUCKING TIME replying to this “it’s innate” horseshit YET AGAIN, but both lefthandedness and pedophilia appear to be innate. Let’s all play happy-happy and approve of both!
    Fucking HELL, I’m sock of this crap. Do you people even think before you open your mouths? It’s obvious even to a huge dorkwad that the innateness of something has nothing to do with whether it is a worthy activity or not. Go back to kindergarten and REREAD THE OLD POSTS before you make a complete ass out of yourself bringing something up that’s alreay been conclusively dealt with, okay?

  183. LMYC

    if y’all aren’t kinky, y’all
    may not get to pronounce what’s consensual and what’s not.

    So the only people who truly understand the complex, subtle nature of human sexuality — and the real feminists, yo — are women who let men beat them up in bed.

    *chortles helplessly*

    Yeah, I’ll keep that one in mind …

  184. antiprincess

    LMYC – no need to be insulting. does it make you feel smart to call me stupid?

    if, as you say, you have already heard all manner of BDSM apologists with all manner of excuses for their behavior, then you already know that not all BDSM activities involve beating. but that’s pretty remedial stuff for someone as well-informed as you are. you already know that such things are a matter of degree.

    but things that are polluted with patriarchy don’t belong in feminism. I am polluted with patriarchy, so I now realized that I don’t belong in feminism. in fact, anything that is polluted with patriarchy doesn’t belong in feminism.

    polluted is polluted, isn’t it?

    at least you have the nerve to tell me straight up, if rudely. I appreciate that.

  185. J Crowley

    So you’re conflating consentual fetishism between consenting adults (let me say “consenting” a few more times to really drive this effing point home: consenting, consenting, consenting, consenting, consenting) with pedophilia? *sigh*

    Have any of you ever even heard of the word “objective”? ‘Cause honestly, it seems like all you’re doing is taking your own personal experience and extrapolating it into a philosophy for how the world should work. “I have only seen cheddar cheese, therefore all cheese that exists is cheddar.”

    Here’s a thought experiment for you: Try looking at the world in terms of harm and benefit. Don’t apply your own crypto-Christian value judgments, just look at the world… in terms of what does harm to people, and what does benefit.

    A woman who enjoys being spanked by a man, and a man who enjoys spanking her–both consenting adults. Who is harmed? But there sure is some benefit to be had for both, regardless of whatever neo-Freudian symbolism you try to apply, isn’t there? They’re both enjoying themselves and both consenting.

    Choose your battles, people. Goddamn it.

  186. Adrienne

    The harm is when all men think women want to be spanked.

  187. Zenobia

    Re:138

    The “ko” at the end of “panko”(breadcrumbs) is not the same “ko” used for the names, but a different “ko” meaning “crumbs” or “flakes,” as in snowflakes. The chinese characters used is different.

    I looked this up right _after_ posting, and you are of course correct. I hate being pedantic and wrong at the same time. Thank you, Rain.

    Perhaps some of you think BDSM is more interesting than breadcrumbs, but you would be mistaken.

  188. J Crowley

    Hey, um, did you see the word “consenting” above? ‘Cause I really, really hoped I made it clear enough. I mean, it’s up there at LEAST five times.

    Or is it just that you don’t know what “consenting” means? I can explain it, if I have to. In essence, it’s when all parties involved agree that what is going on is fine with them. If a woman doesn’t want to be spanked, then it’s not right for the man to do it. But if she DOES want to be spanked, why is it not all right? Isn’t it sexist if a man is unwilling to fulfill the desires of the woman just because of preconceived stereotypes about women’s sexual needs?

    And ALL men think that, huh? ALL of us. ALL men think that every woman wants to be spanked. Thanks for that blanket statement, it was getting a little chilly in here.

  189. Crys T

    You know, listening to the pro-BDSM camp is EXACTLY like listening to the damn whingers in first-year composition class who just couldn’t understand how they got a bad grade on their essay ‘cos the assignment was to give their opinion on something and “every opinion is as good as any other…you can’t grade an opinion.” WRONG, my sweets: the truth is that every opinion can be analysed and it’s relative worth judged by the validity of the argument you put for to defend it. You are free to HAVE any opinion, but the rest of us are just as free to criticise, pick apart, debunk, or even laugh at that opinion.

    This sort of reaction also shows the close links between BDSM thought and Right-wing thought: they both seem to feel that “freedom” for them includes the freedom to never have to face criticism. Additionally, they both hold the same absurd belief that any and all criticism of them is tantamount to “censorship” or “trying to outlaw” their behaviour/beliefs and other assorted ridiculous fantasies.

    Who the bloody hell here has made ANY mention about outlawing your silly little D&D games??? Not me, and no one else unless I’ve missed a post. So shut the fuck up about how ooooooooooooooooooooooooooohhhh, you’re being OPPRESSED, because that’s a load of pathetic, weak lies.

    You are not immune from criticism. Get the fuck over it.

    And for god’s sake, get rid of the junior high mentality that leads you to brainlessly parrot things like, “if it’s consenting adults, who gets hurt?” (when it’s already been outlined ad nauseam how none of us lives in a vaccuum) or “it’s all about personal choice” (when it’s been EVEN FURTHER outlined how “choice” by no means a clear concept given the society we have).

    The whole idea that sex is something that should be kept out of the political sphere was deliberately invented in order to keep practices that hurt women from being discussed and analysed. Every time you invoke that “consenting adults” bullshit, you are playing directly into that conservative frame, and YOU ARE HELPING TO KEEP WOMEN DOWN.

    Do us all a favour and learn for once how to think critically, won’t you?

  190. Adrienne

    And I believe I made it clear that I said the harm would be if all men think that women want to be spanked. Since you are big on using personal experiences to justify your point I’ll use mine. I had a boyfriend in college. His best friend told him one day that his girlfriend let him fuck her up the ass one night. His was very excited by this and enjoyed teasing my boyfriend with the fact that he gets to fuck his girlfriend up the ass but his friend can’t. Now up until that point in our relationship my boyfriend had never mentioned any desire to have anal sex. We had in fact a very health sex life but after his friends experience he pestered me relentlessly about it. He tried to convince me with various – ‘if you loved me you would do it’ the ever popular ‘everyone else is doing it’ and my personal favorite ‘I was a prude for not wanting it’. He, in the end, really did feel entitled to anal sex.

    When does consent between two people become entitlement by a group? I witnessed first hand how easy it is to go from one to the other.

  191. J Crowley

    You know, if anyone here sounds like fundamentalists, it’s not the advocates of “people should be able to do what they want in the bedroom”. Ever read “A Handmaid’s Tale”, by any chance?

    You’re conflating personal irresponsibility of individuals with some kind of widespread mentality that exists in every man. It’s insulting and inaccurate.

  192. alyx

    “The “ko” at the end of “panko”(breadcrumbs) is not the same “ko” used for the names, but a different “ko” meaning “crumbs” or “flakes,” as in snowflakes. The chinese characters used is different.”

    Ahh, see, I DON’T have a linguistics degree! :0)

    Thanks for clearing that up, Rain.

  193. Adrienne

    ‘It’s insulting and inaccurate.’

    You have your experiences, I have mine. My experiences are consistent with what I have stated. If you are insulted you should be. So am I.

    …A Handmaid’s Tale, how amusing. No I’ve never read it and do not have any desire to.

  194. Chris Clarke

    Thanks for that blanket statement, it was getting a little chilly in here.

    Why not build a bonfire? There’s plenty of straw men in here. And the goalposts have been moved so often they’re pretty much useless. They should burn pretty good, and maybe we could roast a couple of the dead horses, make cheval tacos.

  195. Delphyne

    “but things that are polluted with patriarchy don’t belong in feminism. I am polluted with patriarchy, so I now realized that I don’t belong in feminism. in fact, anything that is polluted with patriarchy doesn’t belong in feminism.”

    Well if you keep saying it *someone* might believe you, but it probably won’t be a feminist.

    We’re all polluted by patriarchy, don’t you get that? What makes you think you are so special that feminism is going to pick on you personally and tell you you can’t play?

  196. Les

    Uh, so if I spank my girlfriend because it gets her off, WHOSE dick are we worshipping? Cuz mine is usually in the sock drawer, which isn’t a very good altar.

    Or if she’s spanking me, does THAT transform my sock drawer into an altar?

    What sort of decorations should I place in my sock drawer to signify it’s altar status? Should I remove the worshiped silicon member from it’s sock during these sessions? Should it face in some ordinal direction for this worshipping? Should I invoke any elements before hand?

    In short, how do I mix neopagan rituals with the dildo-worshipping that surely must somehow figure into spanking?

    What if something happens to my dick and we still want to spank? for example: If we go on a trip someplace and I leave my dick behind, does it get worshipped from a distance if there is spanking in a hotel room? If my house burns down and my dick is destroyed in a fire and I don’t replace it, is it worshipped from beyond the ashes? If I boil it and then give it away, is it still being worshipped by us or must all worshipping originate from it’s current owner? My young friend has never owned a dildo, nor has her girlfriend. If they spank each other, are they worshipping the future dicks they may one day own?

    If two dykes have kinky sex behind closed doors that nobody ever hears about does it re-affirm the patriarchy?

    This reminds me too much of anti-penetration bullshit from the 70′s. Women can only lie side by side, facing each other, simultaneously doing clitoral stimulation as the ONLY acceptable sex or the patriarchy is enforced. Perhaps that’s too patriarchal. Maybe we should bask in each other’s feminine glow.

  197. hedonist

    Good GAWDESS, Les, do you have to be such a literalist? If you’re putting on the Power Hat, you’re worshipping at the Altar of the Dick. Congratulations!

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